Tennis world erupts over Alex de Minaur act with young fan amid 20-year French Open first

De Minaur emulated his idol Lleyton Hewitt in a stunning career first at Roland Garros.

Alex de Minaur has found his lucky charm at the French Open after emulating his idol and Aussie tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt by winning through to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros. Cheered on by his favourite new young fan, de Minaur became the first Aussie into the last eight at the French Open since Hewitt in 2004 after downing Russian powerhouse Daniil Medvedev, 4-6 6-2 6-1 6-3.

Australia's 11th seed could hardly believe that he came from a set down to topple the major winner Medvedev to reach just the second grand slam quarter-final of his career. "It's pretty extraordinary, if you ask me. I always thought that for me to play well on the clay I needed hot, lively conditions," said de Minaur, who'd never before been past the second round at Roland Garros.

Seen here, Alex de Minaur shares a moment with a young fan at the French Open.
Alex de Minaur's moment with a young fan at the French Open melted hearts around the tennis world. Pic: Getty

"But this whole tournament has proven otherwise, right? It's been a complete shock to the system, to everything I ever believed in." De Minaur's newfound love of the red clay in Paris was evident after the winning point when he turned towards his player's box and shouted out triumphantly: "I love the clay! I love it here! I can't get enough!"

However, it was a moment between the Aussie and a young fan after the match that really captured the hearts and minds of the tennis world. De Minaur had shouted out for help on social media to identify the young boy who'd been cheering him on so wonderfully during the Aussie's fourth round win. "I need to find the name of this legend!!! Message me on instagram, I need you for the next round," the Aussie posted alongside video clips of the boy cheering him on.

Sure enough, the young lad was back again to inspire de Minaur to victory against Medvedev. And the tennis world couldn't get enough of the beautiful post-match scenes as de Minaur tracked down his No.1 supporter 'Paul' in the stands and shared a victorious post-match embrace with the thrilled youngster.

De Minaur gained revenge after being beaten by fifth-seed Medvedev at the US Open last year, with the Russian also holding a 6-2 head-to-head superiority. But on the Parisian clay it was a different story as de Minaur proved too attacking, too fast and too inventive. "He played probably the best match we played," acknowledged the former US Open champ, impressed by de Minaur's serving in particular. "I didn't see him play like this before."

The Aussie dished up 19 unforced errors in the opening set but came out firing in the second. Medvedev took a medical timeout for a blistered foot and was outplayed from the moment he returned to court as de Minaur's game went up a notch.

Pictured here, Alex de Minaur celebrates after beating Daniil Medvedev in the round of 16 at the French Open.
Alex de Minaur celebrates after beating Daniil Medvedev in the round of 16 at the French Open. Pic: Getty

The Australian won seven straight games and had Medvedev increasingly floundering and flustered. De Minaur raced into a 3-0 lead in the third set, cheered in the stands by fellow Aussie star Thanasi Kokkinakis and his No.1 fan. Having lost 11 of the previous 12 games, Medvedev finally got back on the board at the start of the fourth, breaking de Minaur and feeling as if he could rally but the Aussie kept attacking, with one thunderous inside-out forehand earning him the final key break for a decisive 5-3 lead.


"I'm pretty happy, not gonna lie," beamed de Minaur, whose only previous major quarter-final was at Flushing Meadows in 2020 when beaten by Dominic Thiem. "It was a great match today... (I) Fought 'til the end. Managed to beat a quality opponent in a grand slam fourth round, which is kind of the goals I've been setting. I'm very proud of myself."

Joining de Minaur in the quarter-finals is defending champ and 24-time major winner Novak Djokovic, who overcame a knee injury and a scare to beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-1 5-7 3-6 7-5 6-3 after four hours and 39 minutes. Djokovic will play Casper Ruud after the Norwegian beat American Taylor Fritz 7-6 3-6 6-4 6-2.

with agencies