Alex de Minaur

Alex de Minaur[1] (/də mɪˈnɔːr/ də mih-NOR;[2] Spanish: Álex de Miñaur,[3] pronounced [ˈaleɡz ðe miˈɲawɾ];[a] born 17 February 1999) is an Australian professional tennis player. He achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 15 on 28 June 2021 and a doubles ranking of No. 58 on 12 October 2020.

Alex de Minaur
De Minaur RG19 (23) (48199315646).jpg
De Minaur at the 2019 French Open
Country (sports) Australia
ResidenceSydney, Australia
Born (1999-02-17) 17 February 1999 (age 22)
Sydney, Australia
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Turned pro2015
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)[1]
CoachAdolfo Gutierrez
Prize moneyUS$5,605,175 [1]
Singles
Career record109–83 (56.8%)
Career titles5
Highest rankingNo. 15 (28 June 2021)
Current rankingNo. 34 (29 November 2021)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (2019, 2021)
French Open2R (2019, 2021)
Wimbledon3R (2018)
US OpenQF (2020)
Doubles
Career record24–32 (42.9%)
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 58 (12 October 2020)
Current rankingNo. 134 (29 November 2021)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open1R (2017, 2021)
French Open2R (2020, 2021)
Wimbledon2R (2021)
US Open2R (2019)
Last updated on: 29 November 2021.

Early life and junior careerEdit

De Minaur was born in Sydney, Australia. His father, Anibal, is Uruguayan and his mother, Esther, is a Spaniard.[4][5][6] His father owned an Italian restaurant on George Street in Sydney and met Esther when she began working there as a waitress.[7] De Minaur has two brothers and three sisters — Dominic, Daniel, Natalie, Cristina, and Sara.[7][8]

His name is commonly pronounced /d mɪˈnɔːr/, inspiring both his nickname of the Demon and his logo used when signing the camera lens after winning matches.

De Minaur has dual Australian and Spanish citizenship.[9] He spent the first five years of his life in the south Sydney suburb of Carss Park[10] before relocating to Alicante, Spain.[11] He completed most of his early education in Spain before returning to Australia at age 13. As of 2015, de Minaur was living in Spain.[4][7] De Minaur has stated that he has always felt a strong bond with Australia even though he has lived most of his life in Spain. In 2017, he told the Sydney Morning Herald "I used to represent Spain but I always felt I was Australian. As soon as we moved back here again that was the first thing I wanted to do — play for Australia."[12]

De Minaur is fluent in English and Spanish and also speaks some French.[13]

 
Alex, in 2005, with his parents (back) and his first coach, Cindy Dock (left), a former Australian player. Taken in Alicante, Spain.

De Minaur began playing tennis at age three at the Sydney Private Tennis Academy at the Parkside Tennis Courts in Kogarah Bay. He was coached by Kerry Dock and then by Cindy Dock, a former Australian player.[14][15] He has been coached by Adolfo Gutierrez since he was nine years old and living in Alicante.[4] De Minaur reached a career-high ranking of 2 on the juniors circuit and won the 2016 Australian Open boys' doubles title alongside Blake Ellis.[16] Although Lleyton Hewitt has never officially been his coach, he continues to be a mentor.[17]

Professional careerEdit

2015–2017: Early Futures & Challenger success, turning proEdit

 
de Minaur competing in the boys' singles at the 2015 US Open

De Minaur plays tennis under the flag of Australia.[9] He made his professional debut in July 2015 at the Spain F22, reaching the quarterfinals. He was given a wildcard into the qualifying rounds of the 2016 Australian Open, but lost in round one. De Minaur then spent the majority of the 2016 season playing on the ITF circuit in Spain, reaching two finals. He made his first ATP Challenger Tour final in Eckental, Germany after qualifying.[citation needed]

De Minaur commenced 2017 at the Brisbane International, where he defeated Mikhail Kukushkin and Frances Tiafoe in qualifying to reach his first ATP Tour main draw. He lost in the first round to Mischa Zverev. The following week, he received a wildcard into the Apia International Sydney where he defeated world No. 46, Benoît Paire to claim his first Tour-level win.[18]

De Minaur made his Grand Slam debut at the 2017 Australian Open after receiving a wildcard. He faced Gerald Melzer in the first round and won in five sets after saving a match point in the fourth set.[19] He lost to Sam Querrey in round two.[18]

In May, de Minaur made his French Open debut after being awarded a wildcard. He lost the opening round to Robin Haase, in straight sets.[20] In June, de Minaur lost in the first round of Nottingham and Ilkley Challengers and the second round of Wimbledon qualifying.[citation needed]

De Minaur was awarded a wildcard into the 2017 US Open, losing in round one to Dominic Thiem.[21]

In December, de Minaur won the Australian Open play off for a main draw wildcard into the 2018 Australian Open.[22] He finished the year with a singles ranking of No. 208.[18][23]

2018: Breakthrough, Challenger title, two ATP finals, Top 50 debut, Maiden NextGen ATP Finals finalEdit

 
de Minaur at the 2018 Citi Open

De Minaur commenced the year at the Brisbane International after receiving a wildcard into the main draw.[24] He defeated American Steve Johnson in straight sets before scoring a career high win against world number 24 Milos Raonic in straight sets.[25] He then defeated qualifier Michael Mmoh in the quarterfinals before losing to Ryan Harrison in the semifinals.[26] De Minaur is the lowest ranked player and the youngest to reach the semifinals of the men's draw in the Brisbane International's 10-year history.[27]

De Minaur received a special exempt spot in the main draw of the Sydney event, where he consecutively eliminated Fernando Verdasco, Damir Džumhur and Feliciano López to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal; he reached this milestone just one week after having played in his first tour semifinal in Brisbane. De Minaur became the youngest player to play in two consecutive ATP semifinals since Rafael Nadal in 2005.[28] He beat Frenchman Benoît Paire in the semifinals to meet Daniil Medvedev in the final.[29] De Minaur lost the final in three sets, having won the opener.[30]

At the 2018 Australian Open, de Minaur lost in the first round to Tomáš Berdych, but took a set off of the 19th seed.[31]

He was awarded a wildcard into the 2018 French Open,[32] but lost in the first round to British 16th seed Kyle Edmund.[33] Following this, he made two consecutive Challenger finals, losing to Jérémy Chardy at Surbiton, before defeating Dan Evans in straight sets to claim his first Challenger-level title at the Nottingham Open.[34]

He saw his best results to date at a major at Wimbledon, defeating 29th seed and French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato and Pierre-Hugues Herbert to reach the third round, where he fell to world No.1 and second seed Rafael Nadal.[35]

In Washington, de Minaur defeated Vasek Pospisil, 11th seed Steve Johnson, eighth seed and Australian Open semifinalist Chung Hyeon and received a walkover over Andy Murray to reach the semifinals where he faced Andrey Rublev. De Minaur saved four match points while down 2–6 in the second set tiebreak, winning six points in a row to win it 8–6. He then won the final set 6–4 to reach his first ATP 500 final against Alexander Zverev, in which he went down 4–6, 2–6.[36] De Minaur entered the top 50 in the rankings for the first time at World No. 45 on 6 August 2018.[23]

At the US Open, de Minaur defeated Taro Daniel and Frances Tiafoe before losing to seventh seed Marin Čilić in five sets.[37] Later in the year, he replaced Nick Kyrgios as Australia's highest ranked male singles player.[38]

De Minaur qualified as the second seed into the 2018 Next Generation ATP Finals. He beat Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz, Liam Caruana in group stage. He then defeated Jaume Munar in the semifinals, before losing to top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.[39]

2019: Three ATP titles, top 20 debut, second NextGen ATP Finals finalEdit

 
De Minaur serving at the Next Generation ATP Finals

De Minaur began his year with a quarterfinal run in Brisbane, competing at the tournament at a career-high of World No. 31, resulting in him being seeded for a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career at the upcoming Australian Open.[40] At the 2019 Sydney International, straight-set victories over Dušan Lajović, Reilly Opelka, Jordan Thompson and Gilles Simon saw him return to the finals. He defeated Andreas Seppi 7–5, 7–6(7–5) to claim his first career title.[41] Seeded No. 27 at the Australian Open, he lost in the third round to Rafael Nadal.[42] De Minaur reached a then career-high ranking of World No. 24 in March 2019.[43] Following the Australian Open, de Minaur suffered a groin injury, sidelining him for two months.[44]

At Wimbledon, De Minaur won his opening round before losing to Steve Johnson in the second round in five sets.[45] De Minaur made his fourth ATP Final in Atlanta, where he defeated Taylor Fritz to clinch the trophy.[46] He did not face a single break point in the four matches he played during the tournament, winning 116 of 123 first serve points.[47][48]

At the US Open, de Minaur defeated Kei Nishikori in third round, earning his first career win over a top 10-ranked opponent.[49] He reached the fourth round for the first time in the event, however, lost to Grigor Dimitrov 7–5, 6–3, 6–4.[50]

In September, de Minaur claimed his 3rd ATP title beating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in two sets in the final of the Zhuhai Championships.[51]

At the Swiss Indoors, de Minaur reached the final of an ATP 500 event for the second time in his career, losing to Roger Federer.[52][53] As a result, de Minaur reached a career-high ranking of World No. 18.[54]

De Minaur qualified as the first seed into the 2019 Next Generation ATP Finals. He beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Miomir Kecmanović, Casper Ruud in group stage. He then beat Frances Tiafoe in the semis before losing to Italian wildcard Jannik Sinner.[55]

2020: US Open quarterfinalEdit

De Minaur started new season by playing for Australia at the first edition of the ATP Cup. He won his first two matches beating Alexander Zverev of Germany[56] and Denis Shapovalov of Canada.[57] Facing Great Britain in the quarterfinals, he lost his singles match to Dan Evans.[58] However, in doubles, he and Nick Kyrgios won a three set thriller over Jamie Murray/Joe Salisbury to send Australia to the semifinals.[59] In the semifinals, he was defeated by Rafael Nadal.[60] He withdrew from the first edition of the Adelaide International due to an abdominal strain.[61] He also withdrew from the Australian Open due to the same injury.[62]

De Minaur returned from injury in February and played at the Mexican Open. He lost in the first round to Miomir Kecmanović.[63] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the ATP tour tournaments were suspended.

De Minaur played his first tournament since February in August at the Cincinnati Masters, where he was eliminated in the first round by Jan-Lennard Struff.[64] However, in doubles, he and Pablo Carreño Busta won the title beating Jamie Murray/Neal Skupski in the final.[65] Seeded 21st at the US Open, he reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinals where he was beaten by second seed and eventual champion, Dominic Thiem.[66]

In Rome, de Minaur was defeated in the first round by German qualifier Dominik Koepfer.[67] Seeded 25th at the French Open, he was beaten in the first round by qualifier and 2018 semifinalist, Marco Cecchinato.[68]

Seeded eighth at the European Open, de Minaur reached the final where he fell to Ugo Humbert.[69] Seeded 16th at the Paris Masters, he was knocked out in the third round by third seed and eventual champion, Daniil Medvedev.[70] He played his final tournament of the season at the Sofia Open. Seeded third, he was defeated in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Jannik Sinner.[71]

De Minaur ended the year ranked No. 23.

2021: Fourth ATP title, Fifth and First title on grass, top 15 debutEdit

De Minaur started his 2021 season at the Antalya Open. Seeded fourth, he won his fourth ATP singles title when his opponent, eighth seed Alexander Bublik, retired from the final due to a right ankle injury.[72] Playing for Australia at the 2021 ATP Cup, he lost both of his matches to Roberto Bautista Agut[73] and Stefanos Tsitsipas.[74] Seeded 21st at the Australian Open, he reached the third round where he was defeated by 16th seed Fabio Fognini.[75]

In March, de Minaur competed at the Rotterdam Open. Here, he was eliminated in the second round by Kei Nishikori.[76] Seeded ninth at the Dubai Championships, he fell in the second round to Jérémy Chardy.[77] Seeded 15th at the Miami Open, he suffered a second-round upset at the hands of Daniel Elahi Galán.[78]

Moving on to the clay-court season, de Minaur played at the Monte-Carlo Masters. He was beaten in the first round by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.[79] Seeded 14th at the Barcelona Open, he made it to the third round where he lost to second seed and eventual finalist, Stefanos Tsitsipas.[80] In Madrid, he was defeated in the third round by third seed and two-time finalist, Dominic Thiem.[81] At the Italian Open, he was eliminated in the first round by Italian wildcard Gianluca Mager.[82] Seeded 21st at the French Open, he was beaten in the second round by Marco Cecchinato.[83]

In June, de Minaur had a short but successful grass season. Seeded fourth at the Stuttgart Open, he reached the quarterfinals where he lost to Jurij Rodionov.[84] Seeded fourth at the Queen's Club Championships, he made it to the semifinals where he fell to top seed Matteo Berrettini.[85] In doubles, he and Cameron Norrie reached the semifinals where they lost to Reilly Opelka/John Peers.[86] In the week before Wimbledon, he won his first title on grass and fifth in his career at the Eastbourne International defeating Lorenzo Sonego in the final.[87] With this run, he reached a new career-high singles ranking No. 15.[88][89] Seeded 15th at Wimbledon, he could not keep up his good form and lost in the first round to Sebastian Korda.[90]

De Minaur pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for Covid-19.[91] He returned to action in August at the Washington Open. Seeded third, he was defeated in the second round by Steve Johnson.[92] Seeded 12th at the Canadian Open, he was eliminated in the second round by Nikoloz Basilashvili.[93] Seeded 14th at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, he fell in his second-round match to Gaël Monfils.[94] Seeded 14th at the US Open, he lost in the first round to Taylor Fritz.[95]

Seeded fourth at the Moselle Open, de Minaur's woes continued as he was defeated in the second round by Marcos Giron.[96] Seeded third in Sofia, he again lost in the second round to Giron.[97] Seeded 22nd at the Indian Wells Masters, he reached the fourth round where he faced second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. He pushed Tsitsipas to three sets, but he ended up losing the match.[98] Seeded sixth and last year finalist at the European Open, he fell in the first round to American qualifier Brandon Nakashima.[99] In Vienna, he was eliminated in his second-round match by second seed and eventual champion, Alexander Zverev.[100] At the Paris Masters, he was beaten in the first round by lucky loser and compatriot, Alexei Popyrin.[101]

Playing styleEdit

De Minaur is famous for his incredible speed and agility on court, which have earned him the jocular title "Speed Demon" on the tour.[102] He is known for his ability to retrieve seemingly impossible balls and hit winners from defensive positions or force opponents into making mistakes. His footwork and court coverage are considered some of the best on tour, though some have questioned the physical toll it could take on his body in the long-term. Despite this, his fighting spirit, "never say die" attitude and intensity on the court have earned him a huge fan base for a young player.[103]

His baseline game suits that of a counterpuncher, often retrieving balls and slowly constructing points. However, he is also known to inject sudden pace into rallies to surprise opponents, and often opts for a one-two combination on his serve, using the serve and a powerful groundstroke to endpoints quickly. His forehand is significantly better than his backhand on the offensive, and he often uses it to construct points or hit winners when attacking.[104] De Minaur possesses a strong first serve, but his second serve is considerably weaker and usually an attacking point for opponents. His volleys were initially a weakness too, but have improved, moving towards a more transitional offensive game.[105]

Critics point out that despite his defensive capabilities, de Minaur does not possess any real weapons to hurt top opponents. Some have argued his defensive game is unsustainable physically in the long-term and is not sufficient to challenge the best players in the world as he tends to play himself out of aggressive positions. Instead, he should focus on developing his groundstrokes towards more consistent aggression to end points quickly.[106]

National representationEdit

ATP CupEdit

De Minaur made his ATP Cup debut for Australia in January 2020, at the age of 20. He scored a victory against then world number 7 Alexander Zverev which helped Australia claim a 3–0 victory over Germany.[107]

Davis CupEdit

He made his Davis Cup debut for Australia in February 2018, at the age of 18. He faced then world number 5 Alexander Zverev from Germany in the opening rubber and fell just short of a spectacular upset, losing in a fifth-set tiebreaker after leading 3–0, (40–Ad.) in the decider.[108]

OlympicsEdit

De Minaur was selected to represent Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (to be held in July 2021), but was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19.[109]

Significant finalsEdit

Masters 1000 finalsEdit

Doubles: 1 (1 title)Edit

Outcome Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 2020 Cincinnati Masters Hard   Pablo Carreño Busta   Jamie Murray
  Neal Skupski
6–2, 7–5

ATP career finalsEdit

Singles: 9 (5 titles, 4 runner-ups)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0–0)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–2)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (5–2)
Finals by surface
Hard (4–4)
Clay (0–0)
Grass (1–0)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Jan 2018 Sydney International, Australia 250 Series Hard   Daniil Medvedev 6–1, 4–6, 5–7
Loss 0–2 Aug 2018 Washington Open, United States 500 Series Hard   Alexander Zverev 2–6, 4–6
Win 1–2 Jan 2019 Sydney International, Australia 250 Series Hard   Andreas Seppi 7–5, 7–6(7–5)
Win 2–2 Jul 2019 Atlanta Open, United States 250 Series Hard   Taylor Fritz 6–3, 7–6(7–2)
Win 3–2 Sep 2019 Zhuhai Championships, China 250 Series Hard   Adrian Mannarino 7–6(7–4), 6–4
Loss 3–3 Oct 2019 Swiss Indoors, Switzerland 500 Series Hard (i)   Roger Federer 2–6, 2–6
Loss 3–4 Oct 2020 European Open, Belgium 250 Series Hard (i)   Ugo Humbert 1–6, 6–7(4–7)
Win 4–4 Jan 2021 Antalya Open, Turkey 250 Series Hard   Alexander Bublik 2–0 ret.
Win 5–4 Jun 2021 Eastbourne International, United Kingdom 250 Series Grass   Lorenzo Sonego 4–6, 6–4, 7–6(7–5)

Doubles: 1 (1 title)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (1–0)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–0)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (0–0)
Titles by surface
Hard (1–0)
Clay (0–0)
Grass (0–0)
Titles by setting
Outdoor (1–0)
Indoor (0–0)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1–0 Aug 2020 Cincinnati Masters, United States Masters 1000 Hard   Pablo Carreño Busta   Jamie Murray
  Neal Skupski
6–2, 7–5

ATP Next Generation finalsEdit

Singles: 2 (2 runner-ups)Edit

Result    Date    Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss Nov 2018 Next Generation ATP Finals, Italy Hard (i)   Stefanos Tsitsipas 4–2, 1–4, 3–4(3–7), 3–4(3–7)
Loss Nov 2019 Next Generation ATP Finals, Italy Hard (i)   Jannik Sinner 2–4, 1–4, 2–4

Junior Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 2016 Wimbledon Grass   Denis Shapovalov 6–4, 1–6, 3–6

Doubles: 1 (1 title)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponent Score
Win 2016 Australian Open Hard   Blake Ellis   Lukáš Klein
  Patrik Rikl
3–6, 7–5, [12–10]

Performance timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# P# DNQ A Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS P NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (P#) preliminary round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic/Paralympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (P) postponed; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

SinglesEdit

Current after the 2021 Davis Cup Finals.

Tournament 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open Q1 2R 1R 3R A 3R 0 / 4 5–4
French Open A 1R 1R 2R 1R 2R 0 / 5 2–5
Wimbledon A Q2 3R 2R NH 1R 0 / 3 3–3
US Open A 1R 3R 4R QF 1R 0 / 5 9–5
Win–Loss 0–0 1–3 4–4 7–4 4–2 3–4 0 / 17 19–17
ATP Tour Masters 1000
Indian Wells Masters A Q2 2R 2R NH 4R 0 / 3 3–3
Miami Open A A 1R A 2R 0 / 2 0–2
Monte-Carlo Masters A A A A 1R 0 / 1 0–1
Madrid Open A A A 1R 3R 0 / 2 2–2
Italian Open A A A 1R 1R 1R 0 / 3 0-3
Canadian Open A A A 1R NH 2R 0 / 2 0–2
Cincinnati Masters A A A 3R 1R 2R 0 / 3 3–3
Shanghai Masters A A 3R 1R NH 0 / 2 2–2
Paris Masters A A 1R 3R 3R 1R 0 / 4 4–4
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 3–4 4–7 2–3 5–8 0 / 22 14–22
National representation
Summer Olympics A Not Held A 0 / 0 0–0
Davis Cup A A 1R QF RR 0 / 3 5–4
ATP Cup Not Held SF RR 0 / 2 2–4
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–3 4–0 2–2 1–3 0 / 5 7–8
Career statistics
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Career
Tournaments 0 5 20 23 8 24 80
Titles 0 0 0 3 0 2 5
Finals 0 0 2 4 1 2 9
Overall Win–Loss 0–0 2–5 28–23 41–20 13–10 25–25 109–83
Win % 29% 55% 66% 57% 50% 56.77%
Year-end ranking 349 208 31 18 23

Record against other playersEdit

Record against top 10 playersEdit

De Minaur's match record against those who have been ranked in the top 10, with those in boldface having been ranked No. 1.

* As of 25 November 2021

Top 10 winsEdit

  • de Minaur has a 4–22 (15.4%) record against players who were, at the time the match was played, ranked in the top 10.
Season 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Total
Wins 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 4
# Player Rank Event Surface Rd Score
2019
1.   Kei Nishikori 7 US Open, United States Hard 3R 6–2, 6–4, 2–6, 6–3
2.   Roberto Bautista Agut 10 Zhuhai Championships, China Hard SF 6–2, 6–2
3.   Roberto Bautista Agut 10 Paris Masters, France Hard (i) 2R 7–6(7–2), 7–6(7–1)
2020
4.   Alexander Zverev 7 ATP Cup, Australia Hard RR 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 6–2
* As of 14 October 2021

NotesEdit

  1. ^ In isolation, Álex and de are pronounced [ˈaleks] and [de] respectively.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
  Denis Shapovalov
(Star of Tomorrow)
ATP Newcomer of the Year
2018
Succeeded by