AAP Tennis

De Minaur powers into Open second round

By AAP Newswire

Alex de Minaur was planning a well-deserved and desperately needed sleep-in after striding to within a win of a potential Friday night Australian Open showstopper with Rafael Nadal.

The teenage warrior was elated after kick-starting his Open campaign with a cruisy 6-4 7-5 6-4 win over Pedro Sousa on Monday.

Seeded for the first time at a grand slam following his meteoric rankings rise last year from outside the world's top 100, de Minaur had taken a pot shot at Open officials for scheduling him to play on day one.

The 19-year-old had to play both his semi-final and final on Saturday en route to his maiden ATP title in Sydney before backing up in the brutal first-day heat in Melbourne.

But after displaying no signs of any physical or mental fatigue from his gruelling weekend program, Australia's new tennis sensation was all smiles again after offering fans on Rod Laver Arena less than a two-hour glimpse of his electrifying talent.

"I'm feeling stoked," de Minaur said.

"It was pretty hot out there, but I thought I managed the conditions really well. Happy to get through in straight sets.

"This is why you put in the hard yards in the pre-season, to be able to back it up day in and day out.

"It's good to see the work paying dividends."

His reward is a return on Wednesday to play Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen for a possible third-round shootout with Nadal, who takes on fellow Australian Matt Ebden next up after seeing off Sydneysider James Duckworth in straight sets.

Despite maintaining his "body feels good", de Minaur admitted he would enjoy some down time following his hectic workload over the past week.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'll just take it easy. I'll be able to really focus on my recovery and get ready for my next round," he said.

"This is my second time in the second round. I think I'm a completely different player from a couple years ago.

"Really looking forward to going out there, coming back, just having fun.

"I think that's the main thing. To feed off the energy of the crowd."