De Minaur knocks off another big name to make Sydney final

Alex De Minaur celebrates. More

Alex De Minaur celebrates. More

The men's final will still go ahead as planned on Saturday night, meaning either Simon or De Minaur will have to play two matches in one day when the victor meets Andreas Seppi in the decider. "I'm going to do everything in my power to come back in the final and leave it all out there".

De Minaur breezed to a 6-3 6-2 win in just over an hour and a half in sappingly hot conditions at Homebush.

Seppi was again the first to strike in the second set.

"But I feel like I am hitting the ball well and certainly happy to come through in pretty straightforward fashion".

"I'm really happy to have won".

He also showed no sign of nerves, landing 73 per cent of his first serves and bouncing back immediately after being broken midway through the second set and then three times when his world No.37 opponent had mini breaks in the tiebreaker.

De Minaur explained he asked organizers to push his match to Tuesday (in that case, he or Pedro would have had to play in back-to-back days) but that was a lost battle once they released their Monday program, saying they have been punishing the home players in some way for competing at home tournaments before the Open.

De Minaur has soared 208 places to 29 in the ATP Rankings and was named ATP Newcomer of the Year after earning 28 tour-level victories throughout his 2018 campaign.

Kvitova had beaten Barty both the previous times they played, including in the Birmingham final in 2017, but she had to dig deep to win her eighth straight final, coming back from an 0-3 deficit in the final set.

The world No.29's court coverage was enormous as always, regularly chasing down his Italian opponent's forehands and wearing the 34-year-old down over the 2hr 5min clash to make amends for last year's final loss to Daniil Medvedev.

"I came out and absolutely wouldn't be the player I am today if I didn't go".

"It's definitely special. I had the opportunity a year ago... Definitely memories that are going to last forever".

But there was mixed news elsewhere for the Australians, with wildcards Jason Kubler, Marc Polmans and Ellen Perez losing in the opening round of the respective men's and women's draws, while James Duckworth fell to Nadal.

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