Thursday, 09 July, 2020


Hard work Barty's only focus ahead of Australian Open

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands hits a return shot to Ashleigh Barty of Australia during their WTA Finals Tennis Tournament in Shenzhen China’s Guangdong province Tuesday Oct. 29 2019 Barty gets Australian summer off the mark
Noah Ferguson | 14 January, 2020, 17:11

World number seven Belinda Bencic won her first match of the season Monday, but there was agony for Alex de Minaur as the men's top seed pulled out of the Adelaide International In Australia. I hope I can play like today in the next rounds.

But he announced just before noon on Monday that he would not be lining up after re-aggravating a rib problem.

"It's safe to say that after a couple of those matches I probably crashed about 7pm, it is a lot but that's what happens when you pay for your country, there's additional nerves and tightness, you are not playing for yourself", de Minaur added.

He was the second seed to pull out of the ATP-WTA event after Novak Djokovic opted to head instead to Melbourne to prepare for his title defence at the opening Grand Slam of the year after leading Serbia to the ATP Cup title in Sydney.

De Minaur cut a dejected figure, as he discussed his reasons for not playing in Adelaide to the assembled media.

The disappointed player did not mention the Australian Open, which starts on January 20, but gave every indication that he was facing a race to be ready.

"So I need a little bit of time".

"I just love it; you get to serve and return under pressure and transition moving forward".

"My sole focus is making sure I recover for my next one (tournament)".

Spaniard Jaume Munar, a lucky loser from qualifying, will now take De Minaur's place in the Adelaide draw and advance automatically to the second round.

The world number 18 followed that up with an admirable performance against Rafael Nadal, taking the Spanish legend to three sets before losing 4-6 7-5 6-1.

The reigning Wimbledon champions beat Ashleigh Barty of Australia and Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 10-8 in a gripping match that lasted one hour and 46 minutes.

The Australian star will be desperate for court time after crashing at the first hurdle this week to American qualifier Jennifer Brady at the Brisbane International.

She is keeping any thoughts of the Australian Open in check, insisting the Adelaide International was the only thing on her mind.

Yet on Tuesday in Adelaide, she was able to cast that result aside and overcome somewhat patchy play - as well as a stylish opponent - to secure victory.

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