Newks18: De Minaur enjoys breakthrough season
Alex de Minaur began 2018 outside the top 200. The teenager ended the year on the cusp of the top 30 and nominated for the Newcombe Medal.
At just 19 years of age, Alex de Minaur is a Newcombe Medal nominee for the first time in his burgeoning career. Here is a snapshot of his 2018 season.
51-30 (28-23 at tour level)
d. #23 Chung – Washington DC 3R
d. #24 Raonic – Brisbane 2R
d. #29 Cecchinato – Wimbledon 1R
d. #29 Simon – Stockholm 1R
+177 (2018 year-end ranking of No.31, after finishing 2017 at No.208)
Finalist Washington DC
De Minaur advanced to his first ATP 500 final thanks to victories over Vasek Pospisil, Steve Johnson, Hyeon Chung and Andrey Rublev – saving four match points against Rublev in the semifinals.
|Final||Sydney, Next Gen ATP Finals|
|R3||Wimbledon, US Open|
|Challenger||Won Nottingham; final Surbiton, Alicante|
Two years ago, De Minaur was contesting the Wimbledon junior final. Few players have enjoyed a more rapid and successful transition to the professional circuit. His 2018 season started with a bang in Australia, where he thrilled fans with his semifinal run at the Brisbane International before selling out Ken Rosewall Arena en route to the Sydney International final a week later. For the next few months the teenager enjoyed plenty of match play, and wins, on the Challenger circuit, peaking on grass with a finals appearance in Surbiton and a triumphant week in Nottingham. That set the stage for his third-round showing at Wimbledon – his best performance at a major at the time – where he debuted on Centre Court against Rafael Nadal.
There was more success on US hard courts; a trip to the final in Washington DC and a third-round showing at Flushing Meadows, where he pushed Marin Cilic to five sets in one of the matches of the US Open. Another ATP semifinal – this time in Shenzhen – followed before the Aussie capped his year with a runner-up trophy at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
“It’s been an incredible year full of highs and things I never expected. I’ve really just enjoyed every second of it. It’s been a pleasure to compete at this level. The Australian summer was just insane. The support I got was incredible.” (interview with Sport360)