De Minaur’s game, and grass, “a really natural fit”
Speaking on The AO Show podcast, Australian tennis insiders Simon Rea and Nicole Pratt believe grass is the surface on which Aussie No.1 Alex de Minaur can do some real damage.
Alex de Minaur has impressed Australian tennis observers with his progress to the Queen’s Club quarterfinals.
De Minaur backed up his comprehensive defeat of Andy Murray with an equally efficient win over Diego Schwartzman on Thursday at the grass-court tournament in London.
The world No.18 has dropped just eight games to get to this point at Queen’s – his sixth tour-level quarterfinal on grass dating back to 2021.
Simon Rea, former coach of Nick Kyrgios and Sam Stosur, was not surprised to see De Minaur faring so well at this time of year.
“I think there’s a really natural fit between De Minaur’s game and the grass-court conditions that he’s encountering now in London,” Rea said on this week’s episode of The AO Show podcast.
“He was dominant over Andy Murray… in his Queen’s campaign he’ll be hoping to build on that momentum with Wimbledon just around the corner.”
Warming up the grass-court swing 🔥 🌱 🔜 #Wimbledon
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) June 22, 2023
De Minaur knows Wimbledon presents one of his best chances of Grand Slam success.
It was where he reached the boys’ singles final in 2016, and in 2018 it was where he advanced to the third round at a major for the first time.
Last year, he was a point away from his first Wimbledon quarterfinal – where he would have met Kyrgios – before succumbing in five sets to Cristian Garin.
That run to the second week has helped De Minaur build a formidable record on grass in the past three seasons.
He has won 18 of his past 26 matches on the surface, the highlight being a title run in Eastbourne in 2021.
(Best results, 2021 onward)
*still active in the tournament
He will look to reach his second semifinal at Queen’s when he next plays Adrian Mannarino, a player equally at home on grass.
Nicole Pratt, also speaking on The AO Show, thinks another deep run is within reach.
“I think De Minaur probably benefitted from the fact that there was probably some tired Andy Murray legs from the lead-up,” she said, acknowledging that Murray had played 10 matches to win two straight ATP Challenger titles before facing De Minaur.
“But I’m not going to take anything away from De Minaur, because I think he can go deep in a tournament like Queen’s.
“I noticed Nick Kyrgios did a sneaky little tweet… I thought that was interesting. And he was right!”
Muzz doesn’t like playing demon at all, crazy
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 20, 2023
De Minaur is now 4-0 lifetime against Murray, winning both their 2023 encounters in straight sets.