De Minaur beats Simon in Sydney, sets up final with Andreas Seppi


It was also fitting he joined Hewitt as a 19-year-old victor, given there was so much about the Australian Davis Cup team captain - who again sat in his players' box with son Cruz - in the victory.

Down in the first set and looking in trouble in the second, the two-time Grand slam victor fought her way back to edge out Barty in a three-set thriller 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3).

"And to finally be able to take that step further and get my first win, it's something that's really special in front of friends and family and in the courts I grew up".

Australian Alex de Minaur's semi-final against Gilles Simon at the Sydney International has been postponed until Saturday morning due to rain.

"I'm very happy with my efforts here". I feel like I'm a much better player.

"You know, I'm excited to get out there and try and play my best tennis for myself, my team and the Australian public, but there is certainly no extra pressure from them", Barty said on Saturday.

Kenin now proceeds to Melbourne where she will play Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova in round one of the Australian Open.

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Meanwhile he has never played against the veteran Seppi, who is set to feature in his first final in three-and-a-half years.

After holding serve to clinch the first set, de Minaur won four straight games in the second to seal the comfortable win. I thought I had to be really tough today and to back it up from Sydney.

He will face Henri Laaksonen in the second round, with a potential third-round meeting with world number two Rafael Nadal on the horizon.

De Minaur is one of 12 Australians in the men's singles and seeking to become the first local to win the title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

At one point in the sixth game, he retrieved two-straight smashes from his 34-year-old opponent, before Simon put his next attempted victor long. If both progress as they hope, the would meet in quarter final.

The 225th-ranked Hives, a Ballarat native, hammered seasoned American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1, 6-2, while the Germany-born Birrell triumphed 6-4, 6-2 against Paula Badosa Gibert.