Australia’s Little Demon

Full Name: Alex de Minaur

Birth Date: 17 February 1999

Place of Birth: Australia

Playing Years: 2016 to present

Highest Ranking: No. 31 (Current)

Formative Years

Alex de Minaur is one of the youngest players the world is seeing today, and he has not even turned 20 yet. Being born less than a year to the new millenium, his Spanish mother and Uruguayan father were then doing business in Australia. At the age of 4, his mother started to enrol him to tennis lessons and signed him up for local tournaments. He grew up idolizing Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt. When their businesses closed in Sydney, they flew to Alicante, Spain to stay there for good.

De Minaur and his family again went back to Australia in 2012. Four years later, his parents moved back to Spain but the young player decided to stay and signed himself to play for Australia. He briefly made his junior career, placing 2nd in juniors circuit ranking and winning doubles with Blake Ellis in the 2016 Australian Open, after he commenced turning pro.

Professional Career

De Minaur’s professional debut went well when he reached the quarterfinals of of the 2015 Spain F22. He was given a wildcard for the 2016 Australian Open, but he lost in the first round. By the end of the year, he broke into the finals of the ITF circuit in Spain, as well as the finals of his first ever ATP Challenger Tour Final in Eckental, Germany.

In 2017, the Australian demon made his Grand Slam debut, and won his first match victory as pro at the Australian Open. At the same tour, he beat world No. 46 Benoît Paire, and fellow Next Gen ATP player Frances Tiafoe. He made it to the final of ATP Challenger Tour at the age of 18, being the youngest to do so since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

In 2018, the smashing de Minaur began the new ATP season as No. 208, but swooped to a career-high No. 43 by August. He started the year at the Brisbane International after receiving a wildcard, where he defeated world No. 21 Steve Johnson and No. 24 Milos Raonic in another match, both in straight sets. He became the lowest ranked player to have ever broke to the semifinals of the men’s draw of the same tour. He was then awarded a special exempt in the main event of the Sidney circuit, where he consecutively beat top players Fernando Verdasco, Damir Džumhur, and Feliciano López, swinging into the semifinal of the ATP Tour.  De Minaur also represented Australia for the Davis Cup in February of the same year, where he had the chance to face world No. 5 Alexander Zverev in Germany.

Style of Play

De Minaur’s favourite shot is backhand. His form was notable for its energetic dynamism with matching light-weight control and flexibility, typical for the players of his generation. His favourite surface is grass. The world No. 2 Rafael Nadal actually recognizes the Aussie demon as a potential threat.

By @EliaasMJ

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