Alex De Minaur proved rock solid as he ended British wildcard Liam Broady’s Wimbledon run in the third round on Saturday, winning 6-3 6-4 7-5 to reach the last 16 for the first time.
For the second match in succession, the 23-year-old was up against a British left-hander, and as against Jack Draper the 19th seed gave a masterclass of precision hitting.
Broady, playing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time after knocking out seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in five sets, threw everything in his arsenal at De Minaur.
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But finding a way past one of the quickest players in men’s tennis was exhausting with De Minaur picking up balls that he had no right to get back.
De Minaur, whose British girlfriend Katie Boulter had earlier lost her third-round match, dominated the first set, striking 12 winners to Broady’s one as he subdued the Court One crowd, most of whom were cheering the home favourite.
World number 132 Broady played more aggressively after that but dropped serve at 2-2 and De Minaur grabbed a two-set lead.
To his credit, Broady refused to go quietly and cupped his ear to the crowd after winning one point, and they responded to try to roar him back into contention.
De Minaur served for the match at 5-4 in the third but Broady broke for the first time as the Australian wavered for the first time in an increasingly nerve-jangling contest.
De Minaur hit straight back to take the Broady serve and again Broady fought tooth and nail to stay alive, engineering three break points to force a tiebreak.
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He could not convert those but Broady saved three match points before a relieved De Minaur secured victory at the fourth attempt with a first serve.
He will face Chile’s Cristian Garin next as he looks to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final.
Having not had anyone in the last 16 of the men’s singles at Wimbledon since 2016, Australia have two this year after De Minaur joined Jason Kubler who beat Jack Sock.
It could be three with Nick Kyrgios up against Stefanos Tsitsipas later on Saturday.