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Berdych beats down de Minaur at Open

Alex de Minaur’s magical month is over after the teen sensation was sent packing from the Australian Open by veteran Czech Tomas Berdych in four sets.

Berdych, the 19th seed, played spoil-sport on Hisense Arena on Tuesday night, defeating the promising baseliner 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-1 in their first-round meeting.

De Minaur soared to the Sydney International final last week and reached the last four in Brisbane – just the sixth and seventh tour-level events he’d played.

Against Berdych – the second-highest player he’s ever faced – he was on the back foot from the get-go.

His fighting qualities won out in the second set, turning the tables on the six-time Melbourne Park quarter-finalist, but he ran out of juice to lose in two hours and five minutes.

“For his age, he’s pretty impressive,” Berdych said after the match.

“If I saw myself and compare to him, I was nowhere near.

“He’s a young guy coming up. He’s hungry. Moving great. A big fighter … that was not an easy one for the first round.”

On his second Open appearance, the strain of playing nine tour-level matches over the past fortnight told for de Minaur.

He was clearly hampered in the third and fourth sets, hitting first serves in the last set at an average of just 157km/h.

Berdych’s average never dropped below 190km/h – quick pace that gave him the early advantage.

The world No.20 didn’t allow de Minaur to even deuce on his racquet in the first set.

At 2-3, the teenager lost control, dumping 10 straight points to all but concede the set.

Australia’s newest tennis sensation looked shot, having spent all his tickets in Sydney last week.

But up he jumped.

The Hisense Arena crowd exploded as de Minaur raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, closing it out after another swap of breaks that threatened his momentum.

Errors crept into the Czech’s game, hitting 20 unforced errors – as de Minaur minimised his own.

It was all to play for in the third set, but de Minaur had little more to give.

Berdych went on another 10-point streak, with the Sydneysider’s resistance ending after a marathon five-deuce game at 5-0.

The final set was a formality, as Berdych advanced to the second round in Melbourne Park for the 13th successive year.

His next-round assignment is a clash with Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the world No.71.

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