"So that's what I'm really looking forward to".
De Minaur will certainly need all his fighting spirit against the ultimate warrior in Nadal.
Meanwhile Nadal said he was well aware of de Minaur's prodigous talent. I was pretty much depressed, actually. He's done so many fantastic things for the sport.
Tiafoe partnered with Williams at the Hopman Cup recently and weeks later he has already achieved more in Melbourne than ever before.
Fifth seeded Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion who struggled in her warm-up tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney, got back to business with an easy two-set win against fellow American Taylor Townsend. Paris Masters champion found the range in his games after the very first shot and he played with a lot of confidence after opening the match with a break at love.
"So the tour in general terms I think is improving, and being honest".
He has been aware of De Minaur's potential for a while, saying: "Since a couple of years ago we know that we have a good player coming".
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"It's natural to feel a little bit exhausted after a few hours or a few sets, but I didn't hit that point".
In one point, de Minaur returned two overhead smashes from Laaksonen that most other players would have been happy to concede and move on to the next point. He's young, very young.
The 15th seeded Indian team of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan, lost 1-6, 6-4, 5-7 to the unseeded Spanish pair of Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. In a bid to save the poor one from further embarrassment, the 32-year-old left-hander came up with a line in his favour.
"I can say I had a feeling that even if I didn't have so many matches before the tournament, I have a chance, because the tennis was there, even with Barty".
When told Zidansek said she felt a bit star-struck going up against Osaka, she responded: "I feel old!" "I still go have an acai bowl in the morning".
Roberto Bautista Agut continued to do things the hard way after his epic win over Andy Murray, again winning the first two sets before coming through in five against John Millman.
Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov, Alex de Minaur - who will now face Nadal - and Karen Khachanov all progressed on day three as an intriguing bottom half of the draw begins to take shape.