De Minaur falls in Wimbledon junior final
After an impressive week at the All England Club, Alex De Minaur fell just short at the final hurdle of the Wimbledon boys' singles event.
Australian teenager Alex De Minaur was unable to hide his dejection after falling a set short of joining some of the tennis greats on the Wimbledon honour roll.
Yet the 17-year-old acknowledged it had been an impressive week at the All England Club, where he had recorded his best result at a junior Grand Slam after reaching the semifinals at both the 2015 US Open and Australian Open 2016.
“It’s been a great week. You’ve got to take the positives out of the week,” he said after falling 4-6 6-1 6-3 to Canadian fifth seed Denis Shapovalov on Sunday.
“It’s just another opportunity to get out on court and get better.”
After taking the opening set, De Minaur faded as his powerful left-handed opponent began to settle into the contest on No.1 Court.
“I’m very disappointed, to be honest. This is a match that I believed that I could win,” De Minaur said.
“I won the first set but I still didn’t think I played well.
“He gave away a couple of cheap games here and there and I sort of did the bare minimum to get over the line in the first set.
“Then he lifted up his game and I didn’t. He started hitting some big balls and I was still trying to find the middle of the racquet.”
Hoping to join the likes of Roger Federer, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl and Bjorn Borg as a junior champion at the All England Club, De Minaur was particularly gutted at his serve misfiring in the biggest match of his life.
“Obviously it’s a big court and all that, but I honestly don’t think that affected me not being able to not find my rhythm with my serve,” he said.
“It’s a very interesting thing because all tournament I’ve been serving really well.
“So it came to me as a bit of a shock not being able to find the court with my serve.”
The Spain-based Sydney-born talent will return home hoping to gain a wildcard into a Challenger event next month in Europe, then contest the US Open boys’ singles before trying to transition to the professional ranks.
John Alexander (1968), Pat Cash (1982), Todd Reid (2002), Luke Saville and Ashleigh Barty (both 2011) remain the only Australians to win Wimbledon junior singles titles.