Alex de Minaur is through to the Atlanta Open semi-finals after compatriot Bernard Tomic retired from their quarter-final clash after just 39 minutes.
The Australian No.1 was leading Tomic 6-2 3-0 on Friday when the 26-year-old called for his trainer citing torso pain and eventually decided not to continue.
“It’s not ideal obviously for him, but I’ll take this any day of the week. I got here to come, play some good tennis, and ended up with the win,” De Minaur told the ATP website.
“I hope Bernard gets better and recovers, and hopefully he’s all good for the next tournament.”
Just last week, Tomic lost his appeal against an $80,000 fine Wimbledon organisers slapped on him after judging the Australian to have not tried hard enough in his 6-2 6-1 6-4 loss to France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the tournament’s first round.
De Minaur dominated in Atlanta, winning all but one of his 22 first-serve points and breaking Tomic three times without facing a single break point himself.
In the semi-finals, the 20-year-old will play American Reilly Opelka, who dispatched Briton Daniel Evans 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 in the quarter-finals.
The Australian revealed he’s actually good mates with the man standing between him and the decider.
“The Demon (Opelka), he’s an unbelievable player. A good buddy of mine, we’ve actually been grabbing dinner together the past few nights,” de Minaur said.
“He’s probably the fastest guy on tour right now. He’s an unbelievable competitor and he actually serves really well for his size. You wouldn’t really expect it, but he’s got a really good serve. He beat me in a great match in Sydney. Obviously he really plays well on the hard courts, so it’s going to be a great test for me and I hope I can play my best, and it will be a really fun match.”
Australian Alexei Popyrin has gone down in straight sets to Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals in the Georgian state capital.
The British ace defeated Popyrin 7-5 6-4 and will play home hope Taylor Fritz, who cruised past Serb Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 7-6 in the other quarter-final.