ROGER FEDERER is tipping Rafael Nadal to get the best of Alex de Minaur in their Australian Open third-round clash today – but believes the young Australian has a bright future ahead of him.
Federer eased past USA’s Taylor Fritz in straight sets – 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 – on the Rod Laver Arena court to reach the round of 16 himself.
And Nadal will headline Friday’s night session in Melbourne when he takes on home hope De Minaur.
World No 2 Nadal is seeking a first triumph in Australia in a decade but, for once, will be the lesser-supported player on
De Minaur is only 19 but again proved his burgeoning ability by winning the ATP World Tour 250 Series tournament in Sydney earlier this month, beating Andreas Seppi in the final.
De Minaur reached the third round of Wimbledon and the US Open last four and would claim his biggest win yet by overcoming Nadal.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion knocked De Minaur out at Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win and Federer expects his long-time rival to achieve a similar result today.
Yet he challenged the 27th-seed to achieve one of the biggest available scalps in tennis, telling him it’s “the moment to shine”.
Asked about the teenager by Eurosport pundit Jim Courier on court after beating Fritz, Federer said: “Yeah I mean Alex has done great.