Alex de Minaur is still looking for his first appearance in the second week of an Australian Open after losing to Italy with almost no mistakes ???? s Fabio Fognini in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday evening

The top-ranked Australian men’s player was barely in competition against the experienced and spirited Italian, apart from the first part of the first set, in which the pair played seven games without a service break

De Minaur could not prevail against the world17, who played almost flawless tennis in front of the spectators in the Margaret Court Arena

“I don’t like going out feeling like there isn’t much I can do,” said de Minaur

â ???? In my eyes (Fognini) was playing at a very high level and not giving much I felt like we were trying to expose his movements a bit but he hit some pretty good shots and then I couldn’t be too passive at the rallies, because he stepped in and dictated from the start

“So look, I have to go back with my coach and my team and see how we could have approached this game differently because what I did today probably wasn’t”itâ ????

The 21-year-old has shown that, like in the ATP Cup 2020, he is at his best a player who eats a lot from the domestic crowd

In addition to de Minaur’s game stalling and Fognini controlling almost every single rally, that lack of audience didn’t seem to be helping

De Minaur had started the season in good shape and won an ATP title in Antalya, Turkey, before coming to Australia to quarantine before the first Grand Slam of the year

But he lost twice in admittedly tough matches at the ATP Cup against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut

However, he recovered in the first two rounds of the Australian Open with impressive wins against Tennys Sandgren and Pablo Cuevas, both in straight sets

Fognini was a significant step in the class for both players. The Italian was impressive in the ATP Cup, beating Benoit Paire and Carreno Busta before falling to a fiery Russia and Andrey Rublev in the final

The Nr16 seeds were absolutely adamant against de Minaur, even after playing an epic five-set match against compatriot Salvatore Caruso on Thursday night

That match made headlines for the passionate argument both players engaged in after Fognini’s victory, but there was no sign of such temperamental behavior at all on Saturday night

Fognini hit almost entirely with incredible depth and power to push de Minaur back below the baseline and nullify his ability to attack the net

He also expertly brought de Minaur to every corner of the court and punished him at will with forehand and backhand winners

The Italian broke de Minaur with this type of game in game eight of the first set, but the local boy was able to recoil when Fognini caused four casual mistakes in a row

De Minaur’s serve worsened in the second set and when Fognini broke it there was visible frustration for the Australian

It might be justified that he felt slightly annoyed that Fognini’s ball stroke remained at an extremely high level and that de Minaur was not giving de Minaur time to stop defending himself or rush around the field

Not even two foot errors in the third and last set could affect Fognini’s concentration and dynamism, nor could a wobble on the 5-2 serve lose the service

Fognini has reached his fourth round of the Australian Open in the fourth round, in which he will likely play against Rafael Nadal or Britain’s Cameron Norrie should he upset the Spaniard

Alex de Minaur, de Minaur, Fognini, Fabio Fognini, tennis results

World news – AU – Australian Open 2021: de Minaur loses in straight sets against Fognini