7 January 2017 | Alex Sharp

Sydney-raised Alex De Minaur will get the chance to put his red hot form on display in front of a home crowd next week, after being awarded the final main draw wildcard into Apia International Sydney 2017.

The 17-year-old, who will spend his first full season on the ATP Tour this year, will be very familiar with the courts this week, having spent his junior career honing his skills with the Tennis Australia National Academy at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

After a stunning run through qualifying in Brisbane, where he upset 2015 Sydney runner-up Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) and then topped fellow young gun and world No.108 Frances Tiafoe (USA), De Minaur is looking to capitalise on that main draw experience in Sydney.

“Brisbane was my first main draw appearance and it was great to get that experience under my belt, I think it will help me a lot in Sydney now that I know what to expect,” De Minaur said.

“I can’t wait to get out on court, this is my first summer out of the junior ranks and to be able to play the main draw in Sydney where I grew up is really special.”

Australian Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt said he was impressed with De Minaur’s work ethic and attitude leading into his Australian Open Series debut.

“The wildcard is a well-earned reward for Alex, he played really well in Brisbane to qualify for the main draw, beating Kukushkin and Tiafoe, who is another young junior on the rise,” Hewitt said.

“He is a young kid and he works incredibly hard on and off the court. I have no doubt he’ll take this opportunity in front of his home crowd in Sydney and play some great tennis.”