When Alex de Minaur defeats Rafael Nadal, he turns his attention to Novak Djokovic.

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For the second consecutive year, Alex de Minaur will play in the fourth round of the Australian Open. The Sydney native will encounter a formidable challenge on Monday night after losing to Jannik Sinner a year ago. At Rod Laver Arena, Alex will compete against nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who is vying to advance to his first Major quarterfinal.

De Minaur will take on Djokovic for the first time with the hopes of challenging a 21-time Major champion with his best effort. Alex will make an effort to put Novak’s hamstring injury behind him and concentrate on his tennis. The Serb, who has been fighting with a left leg issue since Adelaide, made it through Melbourne’s first three rounds despite having physical difficulties.

De Minaur will look to build on his season-opening triumph over Rafael Nadal at the United Cup in Sydney, when he defeated him 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in front of the home crowd. Rafa’s service was taken six times by Alex, including the crucial one at 5-5 in the decider, who also saved eight of his twelve break points.

Nadal won the first game and had the lead early in the second before falling behind and losing six straight games! The Spanish player bounced back in the championship match, but a late break allowed the opposition to win. Alex had a 3-2 advantage in the first set until Rafa won four straight games to seal the victory 6-3.

With an early break in the second set, the Spaniard seized the lead before the Australian took control. In game two, Alex won the fourth break opportunity with a backhand, and in game four, he added another to extend his lead to 3-1. De Minaur defeated Nadal three times in a row to take the lead 5-1. He then rallied from 40-0 down to win the next set and force a tiebreaker.

Rafa got out to a stronger start in game two, serving efficiently and generating break chances. De Minaur stopped four attempts, preventing an early setback.

In Melbourne, Alex de Minaur and Novak Djokovic first cross paths.

Before Rafa smashed a forehand crosscourt winner in the following game to tie the match at 3-3 and keep fighting, Alex took a break at 15 in game five.

In the ninth game, the Spaniard held at love to win 5-4 and left his opponent serving to continue the match. At 30 seconds, Alex won the tenth game, tying the score at five games each. The worst-case scenario saw Nadal play a poor service game, get broken at love following a forehand mistake, and lose 6-5.

In game 12, De Minaur struck a service winner to hold the score at love and secure a victory that was a career high for him in his native city. Since Nick Kyrgios in 2015, Alex is attempting to become the first Australian to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

“I won’t interpret that injury too heavily. In the end, Novak is one of the top players in the world, so I’ll have to confront him and not back down. I’ll make sure to make it as challenging as I can, and I’ll bring my most recent on-court experience and how I’ve been feeling. I’ll get pumped up, rally the support of the fans, and enjoy myself “said Alex de Minaur.