Alex de Minaur is one of the future stars of tennis, and the 19-year-old achieved yet another milestone in his very short career. With his straight sets victory over Yuki Bhambri in the quarterfinals of Surbiton, the Australian guaranteed his place in the top 100.
I caught up with the 19-year-old after his historic victory; he started off by praising the man he had just defeated, “He’s a very tricky player and he makes things complicated out there.”
De Minaur started the season in tremendous fashion by making the semifinals of Brisbane and then following that up with a first ATP final in Sydney. That impressive Australian summer showed us that the top 100 was well within his grasp, and it had been on his mind for a while.
“It was definitely a set goal,” the Australian told me on his latest feat. “A lot of hard work and hours on court have made that possible.”
The 19-year-old is a very focused individual and it must come as a big relief for him to know that all of his hard work has translated into results. “It’s a great achievement for me and I’m very proud of myself.”
Breaking into the top 100 is special for any player, and each one will know exactly where they achieved the particular milestone. Alex de Minaur is no different: “I’m going to have it in mind for the rest of my career; this is where I first cracked the top 100.”
The Australian’s love affair on grass started in 2016 when he made the final of Junior Wimbledon, before losing a tight three set match to Denis Shapovalov. Alex de Minaur clearly enjoys grass court tennis and his game proves to be very effective on it.
“I always enjoy the grass,” the Sydney finalist told me, “It really suits my game. I hit quite a flat ball and on grass that penetrates a fair bit.”
It is a shame that the grass court season is so short and Alex de Minaur feels that same. “I always enjoy the whole grass season, it’s a shame there aren’t more tournaments on it.” Luckily, the Australian still has a few more tournaments on his schedule in the grass swing.
“[Next] I’m going to Nottingham. I took a special entry there and I’ll be heading there when I’m done here.” Judging on the form he has been on this week, the 19-year-old could be a major threat at his next ATP Challenger event.
This time next year, it will be interesting to see how Alex de Minaur will push off from his latest success. I asked him where he wants to be in twelve months time and he assured me that the goal is not on rankings, “I’m always trying to get better.”
“At this stage I just cracked the top 100, hopefully this time next year I’m in a way better position.” This is possibly the best goal he could set himself because players can often get discouraged when they fail to meet a particular rankings goal. By getting better, the ranking will take care of itself.
“The most important thing is that my game evolves and I evolve physically as well. If I get better as a person and a player then it should show in the rankings.”
Cracking the top 100 is a memorable moment for a tennis player and Alex de Minaur takes great pride in achieving this. He is one of the best young players in the world and this is only the beginning for him. The tennis world look forward to following the Australian’s journey.