This week, Australian tennis has been in the headlines for a feud very publicly boiling over, but three Alex's are doing their best to change the atmosphere Down Under.

Alex De Minaur, Alex Bolt and Alexei Popyrin are all into the third round of their home Slam. Making the feat all the more impressive is the fact that Bolt and Popyrin are both wildcard entries, and De Minaur and Popyrin are both 19 years old.


Bolt's path to the third round may be the most unique of the trio. The 26-year-old was ranked No. 304 when he quit the sport in March 2016 after losing to a player ranked in the 1,300s. He took up employment in a fencing construction company and enjoyed a stint playing Aussie Rules Football before rediscovering his love for the game. His hiatus lasted nine months.

"I feel lucky. When I stopped, that could have been my life," the world No. 155 wrote in a personal essay for the ATP. "I could be wilting away in the heat putting up fences right now. That’s a career path I would not have done well in, that’s for sure. Leaving tennis was the best thing I ever did."

Meanwhile Popryin finds himself in the third round by way of Dominic Thiem retiring injured on Wednesday. The world No. 149 was up 7-5, 6-4, 2-0 against the No. 7 seed.

"I didn't really feel much pressure, to be honest," Popryin said. "I just wanted to go out there and enjoy the moment, just soak in the experience really."

The Sydney native won the junior French Open title in 2017 and his first ATP Challenger crown in 2018.

De Minaur is the most well-known Alex, having risen to No. 19 in the world. He finished second at the Next Gen ATP Finals last fall and won his first ATP title in Sydney earlier this month.

"I'm very fortunate to be in the position that I am, to be able to play the sport that I love every single day," De Minaur said. "I'm never taking that for granted. I'm just enjoying every single day."


He faces a huge task next against No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal. Popyrin will take on Lucas Pouille while Bolt will tackle No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev.

"Three Alex's through to the third round, which is pretty cool," Bolt said. "I mean, hopefully we can all keep the run going and go deeper in the tournament."

So while you can still get wrapped up in the Lleyton Hewitt-Bernard Tomic drama, it's a far better choice to throw yourself behind the passionate fire the Alex's will bring to Round 3 this week.

Bolt, Popyrin, De
Minaur make big
moves in Melbourne

Bolt, Popyrin, De Minaur make big moves in Melbourne


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