Alex de Minaur caught up in French Open storm after Ash Barty erased from tennis history

An Australian tennis great was quick to call out the massive oversight at Roland Garros.

Alex de Minaur has tumbled out of the French Open in a straight-sets loss to Alexander Zverev, but not before he was unwittingly dragged into controversy around Ash Barty. Aussie great Rennae Stubbs called out the Tennis Channel on Monday over a graphic in which de Minaur was described as the first Australian to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open in 20 years.

De Minaur scored a stunning win over Daniil Medvedev on Monday, becoming the first Aussie man since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004 to reach the quarters at Roland Garros. During an on-court interview with de Minaur, the Tennis Channel put up a graphic that reflected his achievements - but there was one massive problem. The words on the graphic said de Minaur was the first Australian into the quarters since Lleyton Hewitt and failed to mention that's just in men's tennis - completely overlooking some of our female greats.

Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur at the French Open.
Ash Barty won the French Open in 2019, while Alex de Minaur became the first Australian man in the quarters since 2004. Image: Getty

Ash Barty famously won the French Open women's title in 2019, while Sam Stosur made the final in 2010 and the semis in 2009, 2012 and 2016. Stubbs wrote on social media: “HUGE congrats to Alex de Minaur, so happy for you mate.

“BUT Tennis Channel, Demon is the first Aussie MALE since Hewitt. If u recall Sam Stosur did this a whole lot of times after 2004. Like finals, semis etc. So can we please get those graphics right. Thanks. Oh and Ash Barty won the whole thing!”

Ash Barty at the French Open in 2019 with the trophy.
Ash Barty won the French Open in 2019 for the first of her three grand slam singles titles.
Sam Stosur at the French Open in 2016.
Sam Stosur made the final of the French Open in 2010 and the semi-finals three other times.

Unfortunately for Barty and Stosur, the Tennis Channel weren't the only ones to make the oversight. While some would argue it doesn't matter because de Minaur is clearly playing men's tennis, the overwhelming sentiment is women's sporting achievements are being overlooked far too often.

While it seems a pretty innocent mistake, it should be an easy step to include one extra word - 'man'. Erasing the achievements of Barty and Stosur in a simple oversight should rightfully be called out - just as Stubbs did.

De Minaur was presented with a golden opportunity at the French Open after Novak Djokovic announced his shock withdrawal on Tuesday. Djokovic tore the meniscus in his knee during his win over Francisco Cerundolo in the fourth round, and had to withdraw before his quarter-final clash with Casper Ruud.


De Minaur was staring at the possibility of playing Ruud (who he is 2-0 against) in the semis as a result, but was unable get past Zverev on Tuesday night. De Minaur's brilliant run came to a halt in his first prime-time night slot on Court Philippe Chatrier as the towering German prevailed 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Zverev had won two gruelling five-setters in his previous two matches, and had to play past 1am in the fourth round. Zverev had played 16 sets in his four matches before the quarters, while de Minaur was relatively well rested and played two sets less.

But Zverev ultimately proved too strong as he took his career record against the Australian to 8-2. "I think Alex is playing the best tennis of his life, for sure," Zverev said ahead of his showdown with de Minaur. "Especially this year, he's seventh in the race (to Turin, effectively the ATP's 2024 ranking) and could be a contender (at the ATP Finals) in Turin, he's playing incredible tennis for sure.

"The two times I lost to him were in Australia during team competitions funnily enough, but I'm looking forward to a battle and a probably a very difficult match. There's certain things he's improved, his serve, his second serve especially has got better."

with AAP