De Minaur reaches Aust Open play-off final

Alex De Minaur is a match away from the Australian Open after prompting Omar Jasika into meltdown in the play-offs for the first grand slam of the year.

De Minaur, 18, triumphed 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-0 in the Melbourne Park semi-finals on Friday, turning the tables on the hard-hitting Jasika.

The US Open junior champion had the match on his racquet after winning the first set and breaking his teenage opponent to begin the second.

Instead, Jasika lost the plot and the next 10 games as De Minaur booked a place in the final.

“I started to be more aggressive,” De Minaur said.

“I was letting him push me around the court a bit and I wasn’t doing enough. I started to stand my ground on the baseline and tried to dictate.”

The final two set whizzed by Jasika, who was worn down by De Minaur’s consistency over two hours and five minutes.

De Minaur made his first grand slam appearance at Melbourne Park this year, beating Gerald Melzer in a five-set classic.

The world No.210 said he was driven to play like mentor Lleyton Hewitt, who was watching from the stands.

“He’s such a big influence and such a great mentor as well ,” he said.

“He gives you a lot off the court. I’m trying to resemble him on court, especially with the way I compete and leave it all out there.”

Second seed De Minaur will face either top-seeded Alex Bolt or Marc Polmans in the final of the play-off on Sunday.

The winner secures a place in the main draw of the Australian Open and with it a guaranteed cheque for $50,000 as a first-round loser.

Jasika – who won last year’s wildcard play-off – must get through qualifying or receive a discretionary wildcard to play at his second Open.

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