One of the great things about the Australian summer of tennis is the opportunity to see Australian players play in front of a passionate crowd.
From his heroics in Brisbane in 2018 to his battle with Nadal on Rod Laver and his incredible efforts in last years ATP Cup he brings passion, excitement and fantastic tennis to the court.
I was there for his match against Nadal sat high up on Rod Laver in 2019 and it was great to watch and see the passionate crowd support Alex de Minaur.
Unfortunately last year the star of Australia’s ATP Cup team had an abdominal tear so missed last years Australian Open.
Once again Alex is in good form having won his fourth ATP singles title in Antalya before travelling back to Melbourne where he will hope to make a big impact at this years Australian Open and events in Melbourne where he leads the line in ATP Cup.
He is still very young, The Aussie will turn 22 during the first major of the year and will be hoping to celebrate his birthday with a deep run like he had in New York.
Over the last couple of years I do think we have seen great improvement from Alex. That first top ten win in 2019, three titles that year and building some momentum he has stepped up.
His game has gone to another level, his footwork was never in doubt and his anticipation and court coverage is flawless and always has been. The backhand has become a bit more prominent in his game, he isn’t afraid to go backhand to backhand, I would like to see him more at the net.
The search for me now would be consistency. In an inconsistent year he made the final eight in New York which was a great run from Alex but keeping that momentum has been tough. Even in a year like 2019 with the first top ten win, three titles and finalist in Milan he struggled on the big stages.
His record over the last three years at Grand Slam level is 15 wins and 10 defeats but at Masters 1000 level it is 9 wins and 14 defeats.
The draws are more condensed and tougher for players with strong opponents scattered in a small field and it’s now becoming part of that group.
He comes back to Australia ranked at No.23 in the world and few hundred points off his career high of 18. Having missed last years tournament there is a big chance of picking up some key points, he has matches under his belt already which is key!
Alex has created fantastic memories and it would be epic to see him create more at Melbourne Park over the next few weeks.