11:00 PM GMT July 05, 2018
One year ago, Alex de Minaur fell in the second round of qualifying at The Championships. Then 18 years old, he was No. 244 in the ATP Rankings.
How quickly things can change. One year on, the #NextGenATP Aussie is into the third round at Wimbledon, his best result at a major, defeating Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3 in three hours, five minutes on Thursday to set up a meeting against World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.
De Minaur continues the best season of his young career. After entering 2018 with two tour-level victories, the 19-year-old has nine this season alone. The World No. 80 reached his maiden ATP World Tour final in January at the Sydney International (l. to Medvedev), and has also competed well on the ATP Challenger Tour. De Minaur captured his maiden Challenger title just weeks ago at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.
Another #NextGenATP player Frances Tiafoe also earned his best Grand Slam result on Day Four. The American beat French veteran Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to earn a spot in the third round against Russian Karen Khachanov or Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.
Tiafoe has enjoyed his best year yet as well, lifting his first ATP World Tour trophy at the Delray Beach Open, before reaching his second final at the Millennium Estoril Open (l. to Sousa). Before 2018, Tiafoe had not reached the quarter-finals at a tour-level event.
Did You Know?
Three #NextGenATP players have now advanced to the third round. Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas battled through a two-day five-setter against 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Jared Donaldson to reach the third round at a major for the first time.