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Alex De Minaur advances in style to second round of Australian Open

Local hope Alex de Minaur has started his Australian Open with a straight-sets victory on Tuesday.

Local hope Alex de Minaur has started his Australian Open with a straight-sets victory on Tuesday. Photo: AAP

A pumped-up Alex de Minaur has delivered an impressive start to his sixth Australian Open campaign as he looks to make a deep run at Melbourne Park.

The only seeded home hope in the tournament after the injury-forced withdrawal of Nick Kyrgios, de Minaur made short work of Taiwanese qualifier Hsu Yu Hsiou, winning 6-2 6-2 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Hsu, ranked 209, had never beaten a top-100 player and was no match for de Minaur’s speed and accuracy.

The 23-year-old was ruthlessly efficient, with the only major delay in his race to victory coming while there was a delay to close the John Cain Arena roof when rain hit.

De Minaur’s best result thus far at the Open came last year when he reached the fourth round.

But he has arrived this year with sky-high confidence after claiming the scalp of top-seed Rafael Nadal at the season-opening United Cup and taking down two-time Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev at the Paris Masters in November.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match but I’m just happy to be here in Australia, playing in front of you guys,” de Minaur said in his on-court interview.

“It doesn’t matter who I play, I’m going to be up for it – you guys just bring the energy, I’ll be ready.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence – I knew I had that level for a while … now I know I can do it every week.”

Seeded 22, de Minaur next faces either American John Isner or another veteran, Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, on Thursday with their match on an outside court delayed by the downpour.

Play was stopped earlier on day two for three hours due to heat before the rain delay, putting on hold fellow Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alexei Popyrin.

Aleksandar Vukic’s opening clash with fellow qualifier American Brandon Holt was also delayed while Christopher O’Connell and Max Purcell were stopped mid-match.

Earlier, American JJ Wolf ousted Jordan Thompson 6-3 3-6 6-4 7-5.

Kimberly Birrell snapped a long grand slam win drought to upset No.31 seed Kaia Kanepi 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

Birrell’s second-round opponent will be Czech Linda Fruhvirtova, who beat fellow Australian wildcard Jaimee Fourlis 6-0 6-4 earlier on Tuesday.

-AAP
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