Two of Australia’s biggest tennis stars, Alex de Minaur and Lleyton Hewitt, have joined forces to create a formidable team. Although Hewitt is not officially coaching the 19-year-old, he is acting as a mentor to the current World #96.
De Minaur was only two when Hewitt first reached the World #1 ranking, and he has been accompanied by the 37-year-old at most tournaments this year. The pair even teamed up to make the Estoril doubles quarterfinals in May.
The dynamic duo were also together at the Surbiton Challenger where the 19-year-old enjoyed a fantastic week, breaking the Top 100 for the first time. I caught up with Alex de Minaur straight after his final defeat to Jeremy Chardy and asked him about his relationship with Lleyton Hewitt.
“It’s been great,” he said, “to have him by my side, it really does mean a lot.” De Minaur would have looked up to Hewitt growing up, so to have his guidance must be priceless.
“He’s a great help to me as a player.” The two-time Grand Slam champion is known for being one of the most intense fighters of all time, and having him on the sidelines can only bring immense toughness.
Alex de Minaur is still a teenager and you can tell; he has that youthful curiosity and is always hungry to learn and get better. “I learn things everyday from him and that’s what I want to keep doing.”
What does de Minaur learn from the former World #1, is it more on the mental side or the on court aspect? “A bit of both,” he said, “he has helped me believe in myself and at the same time reminding me how to be tough.”
The 19-year-old also explains how Hewitt advises him on getting through difficult parts of matches, “How to stay in the moment, weather the storm at times.” That is something that the World #96 has demonstrated in his extremely young career already.
“Ultimately, give it all every single point and I believe that’s what I’m doing out there on court,” de Minaur said, “that’s what I want to be known for.”
It is safe to say that Alex de Minaur is already gaining a reputation of being a mental warrior on the court and the influence of a former World #1 is definitely helping that. The teenager is one of the most hard working players on tour, especially amongst the “NextGen.” The World #96 looks forward to many years under the guidance of Lleyton Hewitt.