De Minaur ousts Medvedev to match mentor Hewitt

The world No.11 is the first Australian man to reach the singles last eight in Paris in 20 years

Alex De Minaur, huitième de finale, Roland-Garros 2024©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Alex de Minaur battled his way into the Roland-Garros quarter-finals with a masterful 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 display to deny world No.5 Daniil Medvedev on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

A celebratory roar showed what it meant to the Australian as he returned to a major last eight spot for the first time since the 2020 US Open.

The world No.11 will now have to wait for the winner of Monday's night match between Alexander Zverev and Holger Rune to find out his quarter-final opponent.

Story of the match

Variation and speed were the order of the day.

Medvedev made a tactical shift to establish himself on top of the baseline rather than his usual deeper position. It worked – the 28-year-old was picking off points at the net and swiftly moved 3-1 up, fending off danger with razor sharp reactions.

De Minaur dazzled at 4-5 with his retrieval skills to ping back a Medvedev lob, then smash, to clip a winning drop shot. Medvedev held firm, though, and was too resolute in the chess-like exchanges for the Australian to snatch away the opener.

In the second, the world No.11 kept his composure and was boosted by a selection of sublime lobbed winners to break at his fifth attempt in the match for a 4-2 advantage.

The Australian's booming serves and an injection of pace kept the momentum going to level the match.

De Minaur's dominance was red hot throughout the third, and the 25-year-old excelled with his shot selection and combinations as he swept into the fourth.

But Medvedev can never be counted out, and the 2021 US Open champion pushed de Minaur all the way. The Demon wouldn’t be denied though, sliding left to cut a textbook slice backhand down the line at 5-3 to help mark a landmark day for the Australian.

Alex De Minaur, huitièmes de finale, Roland-Garros 2024©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

Key stats

De Minaur becomes the first Australian man to feature in the singles quarter-finals since his mentor Lleyton Hewitt in 2004, and has now posted his first victory over a top 5 talent at a Grand Slam having been defeated on all six previous occasions.

The Australian's victory came courtesy of 51 winners and by taking 28 of 45 net points.

De Minaur's thoughts on the match

On his milestone day: "I'm pretty happy, not gonna lie. It was a great match today. Fought till the end. Managed to beat a quality opponent in a Grand Slam fourth round, which is kind of the goals that I had been setting for myself to go deeper at these events. I'm very proud of myself."

On his first top 5 victory at a major: "It's pretty extraordinary. I always thought that for me to play well on the clay I needed hot, lively conditions. But this whole tournament has proven otherwise, right? It's been a complete shock to the system, to everything I ever believed in.

"Now the toughest thing is dealing with my team, because they give me a lot of slack for me complaining all these years of my level on the clay. But now it looks like it's one of my best Slam results. Looks like I've converted myself into a clay specialist."

On what he roared after match point: "I screamed 'I love the clay. I love it here. I can't get enough.'"

On bouncing back from tough losses: "I think so much, in my opinion, of Grand Slam tennis is just experience, because ultimately you can put in all the work in the world, and I believe I'm one to do so, but how you conserve energy, how you use your energy in these long, gruelling five-set matches, there's a lot to learn from.

"It's about how you bounce back for the next round. That's probably what my body has now started to get used to. Mentally I was very calm. I knew that there was a good chance that we could even go into a fifth set. I was ready for anything today."