Alex de Minaur at full stretch against Reilly Opelka. Picture: AAP
Alex de Minaur at full stretch against Reilly Opelka. Picture: AAP

Fighting Demon puts Kyrgios, Bernie to shame

Alex de Minaur has cut down the equal-tallest man in professional tennis to surge into the Sydney International quarter-finals for a second straight year.

The Australian No.1 feasted on numerous unforced errors from towering American qualifier Reilly Opelka to progress with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory at Ken Rosewall Arena on Wednesday.

De Minaur's win over the 211cm Opelka set up a quarter-final clash with fellow Sydneysider Jordan Thompson, who he recently beat at the Brisbane International, on Thursday.

The Lleyton Hewitt clone this week addressed the growing expectations after jumping 177 places in the rankings in 2018.

"I have a lot of expectations this year and I thought I handled it really well,'' world No.31 de Minaur said.

"It's a completely different scenario for me this year coming in (than 12 months ago when ranked No.208).

"It's not the result I wanted, but I'm continuously learning. It's something that is never going to change for me - I'm young and I have to work on a lot of aspects of my game."

Twitter users were quick to point out the glaring difference in intensity of de Minaur's match and the historic all-Australian Kooyong clash between Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic.

The controversial pair came under heavy fire for a perceived lack of effort in Tomic's straight sets win over Kyrgios, which included a controversial - yet incredible - match point winner from the Queenslander.