Australia's Alex de Minaur at the US Open.
Australia's Alex de Minaur at the US Open.

De Minaur ‘devastated’ after 2am epic

RISING Aussie star Alex de Minaur been defeated in a thrilling five-set battle that produced one of the latest finishes in US Open history.

The unseeded Aussie surrendered a 2-0 lead to go down to Croatian No. 7 Marin Cilic 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7.

De Minaur stormed out of the blocks, winning the first two sets against the 2014 US Open champion, and it looked like a boilover could be on the cards.

But the Croatian lifted noticeably after the second set break, claiming the match in five sets,

Just 19, De Minaur pushed his more seasoned opponent all the way, saving six match points from 5-2 down in the final set and winning three straight games to take it to 5-5.

He saved one more match point in the final game before Cilic's class prevailed.

"Not going to lie: Pretty devastated," De Minaur said after the match.

"(It's a) great learning experience for me."

The No.7, who stands an imposing 198cm, had a significant height advantage over the 180cm Aussi, but that did not stop De Minaur from putting up a mammoth fight.

De Minaur at times played brilliant tennis, showing how speed can overcome power by racing this way and that along the baseline, showingoff terrific instincts and reflexes.

It was one of the latest ever finishes at the tournament, with the match lasting more than four hours and winding up at 2.22am.

The US Open's late-finish record of 2:26 am was set by Mats Wilander's victory over Mikael Pernfors in 1993, then equaled when Philipp Kohlschreiber beat John Isner in 2012, and again when Kei Nishikori got past Milos Raonic in 2014.

"Didn't manage to finish it off," de Minaur said, "but I left it all out there."



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