Alex de Minaur’s historic week in Atlanta got even better.
The 20-year-old Australian became the youngest BB&T Atlanta Open champion, defeating No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2). He did so handedly, and was never truly in threat of losing. He went through the tournament without facing a break point, and only lost seven points on first serve during his four matches.
“I felt like I really needed this,” de Minaur said. “It means the world to me. I felt in a great headspace, my body felt right and I had been playing some great tennis. If I could just keep it all together, the good results would come and this week has really helped me out.”
De Minaur, ranked No. 34 in the world and entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed, won four consecutive games to win the first set, 6-3. Fritz, however, showed resolve in the second set. He faced elimination twice, but responded by shutting out de Minaur in both of those games. But in the tie breaker, de Minaur scored four unanswered points to close the match out. He continued his dominance on hard courts, as he was 14-4 on those surfaces entering this match.
De Minaur placed the ball perfectly near the out of bounds line on a few occasions, and sometimes Fritz had a few self-imposed errors by not getting the ball over the net. He showed visible frustration through his body language, even hitting his head and talking to himself. At one point, he dropped his net forcefully after losing a point.
This was the second time the two faced each other. Their first meeting happened at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last season. De Minaur beat Fritz there, too.
Both showed high athleticism Sunday, and the balls crossed all over the court, making both players sprint the length of the court to attempt and return the ball. They hit the ball with velocity. Though both players aren’t known for their serves. At one point, a ball clocked in at 129 mph.
Though he’s from California, Fritz held the home court advantage, as the crowd cheered louder for him when he entered and when he scored points. After the match, he was visibly disappointed and drove away in a golf cart after the awards ceremony with his head down.
“It’s been really great playing here,” Fritz said. “I enjoyed the crowd support all week. Congrats to Alex. He played a really good final and he deserved it.”
This is de Minaur’s second ATP tournament win. His first came last month when he won the Nature Valley International. He’s projected to rank in the Top 25 — his highest ranking was No. 24. He said he’s excited to use this tournament to springboard into the rest of the summer.
“I really enjoy this part of the year,” de Minaur said. “I’m really happy where I’m at and I can’t wait to get back on the court and keep improving.”
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