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By Richard Pagliaro | @TennisNow | Sunday, June 16, 2024


Alex de Minaur defeated Sebastian Korda 6-2, 6-4 to capture his ninth career title in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final and rise to a new career-high rank.

Photo credit: LibΓ©ma Open Facebook

Friendly finalists will stand shoulder to shoulder next week.

Today, Alex de Minaur played over Sebastian Korda’s head when it mattered most.

More: Zverev Frustrated, Furious and Full of Praise

A clever de Minaur defeated Korda 6-2, 6-4 to capture his ninth career title in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final.

The top-seeded de Minaur did not drop a set in four tournament wins collecting his second title of the year and first since Acapulco last spring.

“Relief, obviously it was a great match, tricky conditions,” de Minaur said afterward. “Seb is a hell of a player and I’m looking forward to playing doubles with him next week at Queen’s.

“Yeah, I’m super happy with the win, with the week, it’s been great. Yeah, happy days.”

The 25-year-old de Minaur, who improved to 33-11 on the season, converted five of 14 break points and lifted four crucial lobs throughout the match that cleared Korda’s head.

De Minaur won his second grass-court crown, joining Aussie legends Patrick Rafter (1998-2000) and Lleyton Hewitt (2001) as the third Aussie man to win ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It is de Minaur's first grass-court title since 2021 Eastbourne.

The victory propels de Minaur to a career-high ranking of No. 7—ahead of Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Grigor Dimitrov—as he’s now won eight of his last nine matches.

“I think it achieves a new career-high for me. So that’s always a great little bonus,” de Minaur said. “First week of grass couldn’t have gone better. So I’m looking forward to next week in Queen’s and the whole grass-court season with a smile on my face. I’m glad I was able to get a win here in Holland.”

The flat-hitting de Minaur applied aggressive court positioning to draw first-break blood.

Finding his range and rhythm, de Minaur rolled through eight of nine points breaking at love for 4-2 and consolidating at 15 for 5-2.

Korda wasn’t hitting the corners of the box on serve and de Minaur made him pay scoring his second straight break to snatch a one-set lead. De Minaur won 12 of the final 14 points of the opening set for a one-set lead.

Serving at love-40 down in the seventh game, de Minaur was not deterred. Showing fine ball control skills, de Minaur denied four break points then froze Korda with his third rainbow lob winner to hold for 5-2.

The American saved a championship point only to cough up his fourth double fault of the day to face a second championship point. De Minaur attacked, Korda blasted a first pass right at him then hit a forehand pass the Aussie could not control to save the second championship point.

As rain began to fall, some fans were chanting “Let’s go Korda, Let’s Go!”. Korda responded by surviving stress holding for 3-5.

Serving for his second title of the year, de Minaur tightened up double-faulting and failing on a forehand. Korda pushed the Aussie back with a deep backhand then rocked a forehand down the line to break back for 4-5.

On the ensuing changeover, Korda took a medical timeout to treat about a quarter-sized blister on his right foot.

After about a five-minute delay, Korda came back with one of the best shots of the match—a between-the-legs mid-court forehand- that de Minaur could not handle.

De Minaur dug in with determined defense, coaxing an errant forehand for a third championship point, but Korda threw down a smash to save it.

Second a backhand long, Korda faced a fourth championship point. On the 17th shot of the next rally, Korda steered a forehand down the line wide as de Minaur captured his ninth career title in one hour 34 minutes.


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