Arthur Fils defeats Alex de Minaur in straight sets in Barcelona

Fils came from behind and overpowered de Minaur
Pedro Salado/GettyImages

It was a bad day at the office for Australian Alex de Minaur, the World No. 11 player. After taking out the legend, Rafael Nadal, in the second round of the Barcelona Open, de Minaur ran into a brick wall named Arthur Fils who may have been down early in the match but never out.

Fils is the World No. 36 player who is just 19 years old. He has powerful strokes on both wings. He was down 5-3 in the first set and seemingly looking to take it to a three-set event when he won seven straight games. Fils has one ATP title on clay earned last year at the Lyon Open.

Fils tightened up at the end of the second set

De Minaur got a bit of a second wind near the end of the second set. Fils served for the match at 5-1, and de Minaur hung in for some long rallies resulting in Fils errors.

It was not to be for de Minaur who then lost the match on his serve; the final score was 7-5, 6-2 in favor of Fils. The two had never played before, and perhaps that is why there were some twists and turns as the players got accustomed to each other's games.

Fils will play Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the quarterfinals. Lajovic, ranked 59th, upset World No. 27 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a three-set duel, capturing the opening set in a marathon tiebreaker 12-10. The lone American exited the draw on Thursday. Brandon Nakashima could not get past Tomas Martin Etcheverry after upsetting Andrey Rublev in straight sets on Wednesday.

With Rafael Nadal's loss and Carlos Alcaraz's withdrawal from the tournament, de Minaur was perceived to be one of the favorites to win. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud are the highest-ranked players remaining in the draw. Neither has dropped a set in Barcelona. Tsitsipas defeated Ruud in Monte Carlo last week. There is a lot of tennis yet to be played, but a repeat of last week's final in the Barcelona final is possible.

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