Sydney, Australia, 3 January 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Alex de Minaur is brimming with confidence after stunning world No.7 Matteo Berrettini in his opening match of the season.

The 22-year-old Australian recorded an impressive 6-3 7-6(4) victory at the ATP Cup in Sydney last night.

It was De Minaur’s first top-10 victory in two years and a welcome reward after a difficult 2021 season.

“I’ve had an amazing pre-season and I’ve been hitting the ball really well, so it’s great to be able to go out there and perform,” said the world No.34.

“I’m feeling in the best shape of my life. So I’m really going to cherish that, carry that onto the court every time I step out there, and be ready for every challenge that gets thrown at me.”

De Minaur’s effort helped Team Australia record a thrilling 2-1 victory against last year’s finalists Team Italy.

Team Australia now faces a Tuesday evening showdown with defending champions Team Russia.

De Minaur is set to face world No.2 and Australian Open 2021 finalist Daniil Medvedev, who suffered a shock loss to Team France’s Ugo Humbert yesterday.

“I want to bring it to these top guys, you know, just really own the court,” said Sydney-born De Minaur, noting the home-court advantage was a huge factor.

“There is no place like playing at home, and that court (Ken Rosewall Arena) gives me amazing memories. It’s definitely my favourite court to play on, for sure.”

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After last night’s stirring against-the-odds victory, Team Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt is backing his side to also challenge Team Russia.

“It’s nice we’re still in with a fighting chance,” Hewitt said.

“We’ve got to do the right thing and recover. We’ll have a light day (on Monday) and then give ourselves the best opportunity.

“It’s going to be at the other arena (Qudos Bank Arena), which will be slightly different. But we’ll put our best foot forward. We look forward to these opportunities against the very best sides.”

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