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Carlos Alcaraz downs Alex de Minaur to become king of Queen’s and world No.1

Alex de Minaur gave it his all in his Queen's Club Championship final loss to Carlos Alcaraz.

Alex de Minaur gave it his all in his Queen's Club Championship final loss to Carlos Alcaraz. Photo: AP

Carlos Alcaraz has roared back to the top of world tennis while becoming the king of Queen’s at Alex de Minaur’s expense.

The young Spaniard regained his world No.1 spot from Novak Djokovic by lifting the venerable Queen’s Club Championship with a relatively trouble-free 6-4 6-4 victory over the plucky Australian in Sunday’s final.

It meant de Minaur missed out in his bid to become the first Aussie since his hero and Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt 17 years ago to lift one of the oldest and most distinguished prizes in tennis.

After a brilliant week’s work, in which he had beaten one of the sport’s other 20-year-old comets Holger Rune in the semi-final, de Minaur finally met his match in the blistering power of Alcaraz, who’s swiftly casting off his tag as grasscourt novice.

Needing a victory to begin a fourth spell as world No.1 on Monday and to be installed as the top seed for Wimbledon, Alcaraz was stretched to the limit in the first set before eventually grabbing control at the end of a first set in which de Minaur had his chances.

But once Alcaraz had snuffed out a couple of de Minaur break points – one with a 137mph ace – when he was 4-3 down in the opening stanza, he then went on the offensive himself as his power began to put the Sydneysider on the back foot and he earned the crucial break for a 5-4 lead.

The Spaniard, who had had to come from match points down to win their only other match on clay in Barcelona last year, made no mistake in serving out for the set with a 125mph ace down the T.

Alcaraz needed his thigh heavily strapped by a physio at the end of the first set, and de Minaur showed he wasn’t finished as he produced a dazzling drop volley winner that spun back over to his side of the net like a trick shot, earning a handshake of approval from his young opponent.

But a calamitous service game at 2-2, when he threw in two double faults, spelled the beginning of the end for the Australian as Alcaraz went on to seal his first grasscourt triumph in one hour and 39 minutes with no more alarms.

-AAP

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