It was the best two weeks of Alex de Minaur's professional career so far. The 18-year-old Australian reached the semifinal at the Brisbane International, losing to Ryan Harrison in three sets. Now, he was in his first-ever tour-level final. De Minaur had huge backing coming in, but it would be qualifier Daniil Medvedev who would go on to win 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 to win his first career tour-level title.
De Minaur Dazzles The Crowd
Both Medvedev and de Minaur opened up the match with a hold of serve. After that though, the Aussie began to take it to the Russian. De Minaur, who was given a special exemption in this tournament, figured out how to counter the powerful playing style of the Russian. This should have come to no surprise to many though as the 18-year-old Australian really took it to Milos Raonic in Brisbane.
Despite having game points in his service games, the Russian could not hold as de Minaur would continue to break his serve throughout the opening set. Medvedev had chances to break back in the seventh game of the set, but the Australian's grit and grind helped him take the opening set by a comfortable scoreline of 6-1.
Medvedev Strikes Late
The Russian was looking for something to go his way in this set, if not, the final in Syndey was going to end much sooner than expected with an Aussie champion. Both men held their serve quite comfortably in the set until the seventh game. Medvedev converted on his second break chance to give him a 4-3 lead. He had looks to break and take the set on the Aussie's next service game but would settle to take the second set 6-4 on his own service game
Nerves Strike Both Players In Final Set
It wasn't the ideal start for de Minaur in the final set, being broken twice in his opening two service games while the Russian found himself smooth sailing to go up 4-0. Once de Minaur got on the board for 1-4, Medvedev began to feel the pressure as the thoughts of his first title were in his grasp. He was broken to give the 18-year-old one break of serve back. Both players continued to hold serve until the Russian was serving out for the match.
A match point was saved on the de Minaur serve, and it looked like he had blown his opportunity to close out the match as he was broken for five-all in the fifth. With de Minaur serving for a 6-5 lead, he was the one who let the opportunity slip, giving Medvedev the break. The Russian did not look back after that closing out the match comfortably to win the title.