De Minaur's event decider washed out

Heavy rain in Spain has halted unbeaten Alex de Minaur's hopes of securing victory in the final of a four-man round-robin exhibition event.

ALEX DE MINAUR.
ALEX DE MINAUR. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Australian ace Alex de Minaur has been denied the chance to win the four-man exhibition Region of Valencia Tennis Challenge in Spain by heavy rain.

In his return to competitive tennis since the coronavirus suspended the sport in March, de Minaur won his two matches at the round-robin exhibition event before Sunday's final was washed out after just one game.

The match against Roberto Batista Agut, who was also unbeaten in Friday and Saturday action, began with de Minaur leading 1-0 when the weather set in.

It caused a two-hour delay before a decision to call off the tournament was made on Sunday afternoon.

The 21-year-old de Minaur, the only non-Spaniard involved, had defeated Pablo Carreno Busta and Pablo Andujar in straight sets and showed few signs of rust despite the long layoff from the professional game.

The world No. 26 has been in quarantine in Alicante during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Playing under strictly controlled conditions at the claycourt venue, matches were conducted with no fans and only an umpire overseeing proceedings - no line umpires or ball-kids.

The event was held over what should have been championship weekend of the French Open, which has been rescheduled to commence in September.

The ATP Tour is suspended until at least the end of July.

The next scheduled event involving some of the world's top players will include de Minaur's countryman Alexei Popyrin in France starting on Saturday..

The Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) - whose first edition features ATP Finals winner Stefanos Tsitsipas and US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini - will be played in a round-robin format over five weekends in Nice.

Matches will be streamed on a subscription live platform and will allow the audience unprecedented access to the sights and sounds of matches as players compete for the prize money on offer.


AAP