September 29, 2019 / 2:52 PM / 17 days ago

De Minaur captures third career title in Zhuhai

(Reuters) - Australian youngster Alex de Minaur won his third title of the season at the Zhuhai Championships on Sunday, beating Adrian Mannarino 7-6(4) 6-4 in the final to edge closer to a top-20 world ranking.

De Minaur, currently 31 in the world, overcame the Frenchman in a little over two hours to cap an impressive week for the 20-year-old.

He powered past three-times Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, world number 14 Borna Coric and 10th-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut en route to Sunday’s championship match.

His trophy in China will sit alongside the ones he won in his hometown Sydney and Atlanta earlier this year.

Having collected 250 ranking points this week, De Minaur is projected to rise to world number 25 when the latest standings are released on Monday.

“I want to keep on pushing,” he told a news conference.

“I’ve got four more ATPs to go and I’ve got to push as hard as I can to keep putting myself in good positions. So I’ll do everything I can to recover and on we go to Tokyo.”

De Minaur was almost flawless on serve, never facing a break point, but squandered 12 chances to go up a break against his French opponent until the final point of the match, when Mannarino netted a backhand.

“I felt like Adrian just played better than I did in those moments,” De Minaur said.

“I just told myself I had to try and take control of the point and just try to dictate as much as I could. I’m happy it ended there.”

The pair may not have to wait for long to play each other again, as first-round wins at next week’s Japan Open would set up a last-16 showdown.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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