Australia’s Alex de Minaur held a match point in the third set tie-breaker against Switzerland’s qualifier Henri Laaksonen only to see it slip away before being taken to five sets.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 16: Alex De Minaur of Australia celebrates match point in his second round match against Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland during day three of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The top-ranked Australian looked to be cruising to a straight-sets victory in his round two match before a lapse in the third set saw him down 4-1. de Minaur would fight back to level the set and the players were fighting it out in a tie-breaker. Laaksonen held sets points only to play some bad points. That turned the match back in de Minaur’s favour as he looked at a match point at 7-6. After a long rally an unforced error came from de Minaur, then the Swiss player kept in the match after winning the set.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 16: Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland plays a backhand in his second round match against Alex De Minaur of Australia during day three of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Laaksonen then rolled on in the fourth set. He broke de Minaur in the first game and then was broken himself for 1-1. At 4-4 Laaksonen got a break then served out the set to see a fifth set.
With the match on the line it was the Australian that gained the early advantage as he broke in the second game for 2-0. de Minaur had a game point for a 3-0 lead however he could not convert and the Swiss player took the game. In the eighth game de Minaur broke to setup the next game where he was serving for a spot in the third round.
de Minaur jumped out to 30-0 before things got tense as Laaksonen edged back to 30-30. de Minaur was able to hold his nerve and close out the match.
This was a tough battle where de Minaur worked extremely hard to chase balls from his opponent. Laaksonen was hitting big forehands that built pressure on de Minaur.
The Swiss player hit a high number of winners with 65 to 26. The problem was that he hit 88 unforced errors to 56 from de Minaur.
Next up for de Minaur is Rafael Nadal who defeated Matt Ebden.