Alcaraz declares De Minaur “the favourite” ahead of Queen’s Club final
Alex de Minaur is set to face world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz in the singles final of an ATP 500 tournament at Queen's Club.
With 11 wins from his past 14 grass-court matches, Alex de Minaur’s confidence is high.
“What I like about this surface, I think I finally get a little bit of purchase off the court,” De Minaur explained. “I’m able to hit a little bit flatter and let the court do the work for me.
“In a world where it seems everyone is hitting the ball harder and harder, it’s always nice to be able to kind of, you know, get rewarded for hitting a nice flatter shot out there.
“I think it makes me be aggressive as well. It makes me play the style of tennis that I think is going to take me to the next level.”
The 24-year-old Australian has advanced to the biggest grass-court final of his career this week at Queen’s Club.
De Minaur is the first Australian to reach a singles final at the prestigious event in 17 years.
The last to do so was Lleyton Hewitt, who secured his fourth title at the tournament in 2006.
“(Lleyton has) played pretty decent here over the years,” De Minaur said of the former world No.1.
“He’s got a pretty good record. I think I’m a little bit far away from that, but, you know, I would love to be able to put my name on the trophy.
“It’s been a great week, and I have been enjoying myself. That’s probably the reason why I have been able to bring such a good level this week.”
De Minaur will play world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz for the title. It is their second career meeting, having first faced-off on clay in Barcelona last year.
“The match that we played in Barcelona was really tough,” Alcaraz recalled. “I saved match point and with a crazy passing shot.”
If Alcaraz wins the title, he will return to world No.1.
Yet the 20-year-old Spaniard is wary of facing the in-form De Minaur.
“He’s playing great,” Alcaraz said of world No.18 De Minaur. “He has beaten (Holger) Rune, who’s a great player, in the semifinal. He has a game that suits really well on grass.
“It’s going to be a really tough final. I’m going to say he’s the favourite with the level that he’s playing right now. All I can say is I’m going to enjoy. I’m going to enjoy my first final on grass, and let’s see what happen.”
The Queen’s Club final is scheduled at 10.30pm AEST this evening.
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