De Minaur shines but Millman exits Sydney

Alex de Minaur

'And to finally be able to take that step further and get my first win, it's something that's really special in front of friends and family and in the courts I grew up'.

It was also fitting he joined Hewitt as a 19-year-old victor, given there was so much about the Australian Davis Cup team captain - who again sat in his players' box with son Cruz - in the victory.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Ashleigh Barty 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the women's singles final on Saturday at the Sydney International.

Kumkhum had started in a blaze to break Barty early for a 2-0, but the Australian refused to panic and instead reeled out seven straight games, including four breaks of serve, to win the opening set and lead 1-0 early in the second.

The results continued an inspiring showing for the local contingent, with a trio of young Australians on debut - Astra Sharma, Zoe Hives and Kimberly Birrell - having kicked off proceedings earlier on day one.

De Minaur went one better, heroically winning two matches on Saturday to claim his maiden ATP title in front of rapturous hometown fans in Sydney.

De Minaur will now play Andreas Seppi in the men's final later Saturday at Ken Rosewell Arena.

Regardless, it showed world No.15 Barty is ready to challenge anyone at next week's Australian Open.

The talented young Australian player claimed the feat after losing two ATP finals past year: the Sydney, and Washington opens, in addition to the 2018 Next Generation ATP Finals in the Italian city of Milan.

"I'm very happy with my performance".

Alex de Minaur is up and running at Melbourne Park, the teenage warrior kick-starting his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets win over Pedro Sousa. I thought I had to be really tough today and to back it up from Sydney.

"It's definitely special. I had the opportunity previous year..."

Once again, De Minaur had to come from behind but he edged the tiebreak and celebrated his victory by falling flat on his back before kissing the court. "Definitely memories that are going to last forever". I feel like I'm a much better player.

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