Alex de Minaur has revealed his crushing loss to Daniil Medvedev at the US Open on Tuesday had "nothing to do with tennis", but the fact he ran out of legs due to his heavy schedule. The Aussie threatened a massive boilover in the fourth-round clash against the World No.3, winning the first set at Flushing Meadows.
But from there it was all Medvedev as the Russian advanced to the quarters with a 2-6 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory. De Minaur had been bidding to make the quarter-finals in New York for a second time, but couldn't match it with the 2021 champion after dropping a tight second set.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Aussie admitted his heavy recent schedule came back to bite him. De Minaur recently rose to a career high ranking of World No.13 after making back-to-back finals in Mexico and Canada.
He also played the Cincinnati Masters in a busy few weeks that sapped his energy. "Ultimately, what happened out there was nothing to do with tennis," de Minaur said.
"It was a little bit to do with just physicality. I had a lot of matches this whole summer without a lot of time off and rest, and it seemed to have caught up with me at this moment.
"It's probably the first time in my career that fitness let me down. It's not something that happens. I back myself every day of the year. But with all the matches that I played, my schedule, everything, I got to this point and the small margins, small percentages, are pretty big at this stage and level of competition."
Alex de Minaur eyeing year-end ATP Finals berth
De Minaur's run to the fourth round is likely to see him bump up his career-high ranking to No.12. But he was left lamenting his inability to beat Medvedev for the second time in the last few weeks.
"There was no lack of confidence to beat him. I knew what I had to do to hurt him and I showed it until my legs went away," de Minaur said. "And then suddenly I had to try and scramble, finding different ways of playing and you can't do that against a player of the calibre of Daniil."
Nevertheless, de Minaur is closing in on a top-10 ranking for the first time in his career. He also has a good chance to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin - although only the top eight players in the world can make it.
"I've had some great results and I probably could have been higher (in the rankings)," he said. "There's still plenty to go - Asia and Davis Cup now. I'm going to be taking the first week of Asia off. I need some rest, and hopefully I'll be able to finish the year strong. Top 10, Turin - that would be an ideal way to finish the year."
De Minaur's loss extinguished Australia's hopes in the singles draw at the US Open. Medvedev will play fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarters.
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