Alex de Minaur is back in the winners’ circle in Atlanta.
Three years after triumphing at the Atlanta Open for the first time, the Australian defeated American Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday to lift the trophy at the ATP 250 for the second time. It is the 23-year-old’s first triumph since last June in Eastbourne and his sixth ATP Tour title overall.
“I’d like to thank the crowd,” De Minaur said during the trophy ceremony. “You guys were amazing. I’m not a local, but you guys sure made me feel like one, so really appreciate the support.”
It was not an easy week for De Minaur, who rallied from a set down in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. But the Australian always persevered when under pressure to win his second title at a tour-level event for the first time.
“It was great to get another title under my name. It’s my sixth title. It feels good. Not a lot of people have been able to do that, so I feel great,” De Minaur said. “I feel great about my game. I’ve put a lot of work in, so it’s great to see the hard work being rewarded.”
The championship match provided a clash between two of the ATP Tour’s best defenders, both of whom are known for their flat groundstrokes and gritty play. However, it was De Minaur’s offence that proved critical as he clawed past the home favourite after one hour and 31 minutes.
“I knew coming in it [would be] a very tactical, chess-like match that we were going to both play. I feel like we are both tricky players in that sense and we adapt very well, so [there were] a lot of tactics going both ways and I’m happy I was able to execute my game plan and get the win today,” De Minaur said. “But it was a very tough match. Plenty of times [it could have] gone either way and even though the scoreboard was 3 and 3, it felt very, very tight.”
De Minaur faced pressure in his second service game, saving two break points by moving forward and punching away crisp forehand volleys. From there, the Australian seemed in control of the match.
Brooksby worked hard to recover from a break down early in the second set, but he was unable to ride that momentum further. De Minaur's combination of dogged defence and timely offence in windy conditions took the legs out of the home favourite's game, which allowed the 23-year-old to finish the job. Critically, De Minaur saved four of the five break points he faced while also converting all four chances he earned.
Brooksby was trying to secure his first ATP Tour title in his third final. In his first two championship matches, the American lost against big servers in Kevin Anderson and Reilly Opelka (2021 Newport and 2022 Dallas).
“I was disappointed with my performance out there today, but you’ve got to be able to think long term and just try to see how consistently I can reproduce my focus and those results," Brooksby said. "I just need to learn from that one and keep staying in the present.”