BRISBANE • Australian teenager Alex de Minaur delighted his home fans with an inspired performance yesterday to stun fourth seed Milos Raonic and move into the Brisbane Open quarter-finals.
The 18-year-old wild card broke the big-serving former champion three times en route to a 6-4, 6-4 upset in 94 minutes and set up a clash with American teenager Michael Mmoh.
"I honestly can't believe it," the world No. 208 said on court. "It's going to take a while for me to believe what's happened just now. I was going to come out here, compete my hardest and give it my all and I actually ended up playing an unbelievable match.
"I'm lost for words. It's honestly crazy."
World No. 24 Raonic has not played since October because of calf and wrist problems and he looked rusty against de Minaur, making 18 unforced errors to just one.
"Heavily disappointed," the Canadian said. "I could have served better. I could have moved a little better. I could have found my way to the net a little bit better.
"I sort of played into his comfort zone. I didn't do enough to pull him out of it or, when I did, it would be only for a few points at a time. I wasn't consistent enough and that's sort of what cost me."
Mmoh, 19, earlier saved six break points and converted four of his own to upset eighth seed Mischa Zverev 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 for only his second victory on the ATP Tour.
Nick Kyrgios, meanwhile, overcame pain in his knee to beat Australian compatriot Matthew Ebden 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in his first singles match since a hip injury ended his season in October.
"It took me a while to get used to playing a match again," Kyrgios said after the 131-minute encounter.
In the women's draw, Ukraine's Elina Svitolina continued her impressive start to the season when she demolished Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-1. The Ukranian took just 64 minutes to see off Konjuh at the Pat Rafter Arena to book an enticing quarter-final showdown with Britain's Johanna Konta.
She was joined in the final eight by defending champion and second seed Karolina Pliskova, who demolished American Catherine Bellis 6-1, 6-1. The Czech will next face Kaia Kanepi after the Estonian beat Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-3.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE