Alex De Minaur in 2019: From NextGen hopeful to Australia’s #1

Alex De Minaur Swiss Indoors

Alex De Minaur enjoyed a superb 2019. He can now rightly claim to be Australian tennis’ #1 male player after finishing the season ranked #18 in the world and with three ATP titles to his name.

Alex De Minaur in 2019

A Quick Start to the Year

The season always starts in Australia and it is clear that De Minaur enjoys playing at home, a 10-2 win/loss record in Australia confirms this. Five of those wins came en route to his maiden ATP Tour win in Sydney in January. De Minaur didn’t lose a single set on his way to the victory, beating Andreas Seppi in the final.

Grand Slam Progress, But Ultimately Disappointment

Coming off the back of that Sydney triumph De Minaur would have hoped for a deep run in Melbourne at his home slam. The draw was not kind however as Rafael Nadal lay in wait for the young Aussie in the third round. De Minaur was taught a harsh lesson by the Spaniard as he only won seven games across the match.

Two disappointing early exits followed at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon before another hard-court Grand Slam gave De Minaur his best run. The Australian had the draw open up in front of him but fell in the round of 16 to eventual semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov. De Minaur actually went off favourite for that match so he would have felt disappointed to fall at this stage.

Hard Court Bully

Following on from his hard-court triumph in Sydney, De Minaur secured two further titles in 2019. He won in Atlanta in July, beating off all the big servers that gather at that tournament.

His final victory of the year was in Zhuhai in September. De Minaur would have been pleased to have gotten that US Open disappointment out of his system. The biggest battle he overcame in China was against the resurgent Andy Murray in the second round. The Aussie lost the first set but allowed his superior fitness to tell over the course of the match in sweltering conditions.

All of his big performances in the year came on quicker surfaces. Surely if De Minaur is to progress into the upper echelons of the sport then he will need to become more adept on clay and slower conditions.

NextGen Finals and 2020 Prospects

De Minaur played in the NextGen finals in Milan and was red-hot favourite by the time the draw was made.

Progress to the final was serene but then the hometown hero, and surely long-term future rival, Jannik Sinner arrived on-court in the final. Sinner was inspired, as he had been all week, and blew De Minaur away.

The young Australian has definitely established himself now as one of the hot prospects on tour. He will be expected to win more tournaments and challenge for the bigger titles in the game in 2020. Expect to see him in the second week of at least two of the three quicker Grand Slams. Much more work needs to be done on clay for De Minaur to compete on that surface.

Main Photo from Getty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.