Lleyton Hewitt makes his Australian Open predictions

Alex de Minaur

Alex de Minaur

In defeating Italian Andreas Seppi 7-5 7-6 (7-5) in Saturday night's final, de Minaur joined Hewitt in becoming a teenage victor of the event that has the best of Australia's talent on its honour board.

"It's surreal. I couldn't think of a better place to get my first win", said De Minaur, who has become the youngest victor in Sydney since mentor Lleyton Hewitt claimed the title in 2001. "It's been tough, because I have played a couple of finals and things haven't gone my way".

Barty also had to make a hurried dash to Melbourne after she lost the Sydney final to Petra Kvitova in a third-set tie-break and is also scheduled to play on Monday evening against Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum on Margaret Court Arena.

A finalist as an 18-year-old in his home event in Sydney last year, de Minaur is now Australia's highest-ranked male player at No.29 and is seen as one of the bright lights of the sport in the country.

The 19-year-old Australian assumed control of the match in hot conditions when he broke Simon in his first service game, before wrapping up the match in 94 minutes.

Seppi, also 34, is playing in his first final in three and a half years after beating Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Friday, having not won a tournament since 2012. "It's all tough. But I'm very happy that I was able to get the win", he added.

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"I've just got to focus on doing the right things and looking after myself, listening to the great group of guys I've got around me and just keep doing what I'm doing, keep trying to improve every single day and getting out there and competing", de Minaur said.

"There was a lot of outside factors coming into this match - nerves, playing another Australian? And to be able to, in a way, to follow his footsteps and win (in Sydney) is definitely special".

"I'm very happy with my efforts here".

"A lot of work, a lot of training, a lot of sacrifice goes into even making a final and to get a win, I'm speechless".

The 19-year-old had given Australian Open organisers a spray because of the scheduling of his match in Melbourne on Monday, claiming they were "punishing" local players like himself and Ashleigh Barty, who went deep in the draw in Sydney. I feel like I'm a much better player. I felt like I was moving well.

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