Determined De Minaur eyes deep run at Wimbledon 2023
Australia's Alex de Minaur begins his fifth campaign at The Championships as the No.15 seed and looking to better last year's fourth-round run.
Like any good Australian, Alex de Minaur loves playing on grass.
Hitting flatter and moving better than most of his peers, the world No.17 was almost custom-built for modern-day grass-court tennis.
In 2022, only a fifth-set tiebreak loss to Cristian Garin denied him a place in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, and last week he reached the final at Queen’s, falling to Carlos Alcaraz.
“I’m in a great position right now,” the 2021 Eastbourne champion told ATPTour.com.
“I played some great tennis last week. I was able to rest this week and get ready for hopefully a good run here in Wimbledon. I like where my game is at, I like how the body is feeling and how I am mentally. So hopefully I’ve put myself in a position to perform.”
De Minaur, who is just two places below his career-high ranking of world No.15, took out sixth-ranked Holger Rune at Queen’s and was competitive in the final against Alcaraz, who returned to world No.1 by claiming the final 6-4 6-4.
“It was a very solid week for sure,” De Minaur said. “I was very happy with my mindset all week. I played some positive tennis from start to finish and I showed the type of tennis that I can play. I can be very dangerous on this surface. I fell just short, but put myself in a good position for the rest of the year.”
The seven-time ATP Tour titlist has his sights set on reaching the quarterfinals for the first time, determined to atone for last year when he let slip a two-sets lead and two match points against Garin in the fourth round.
“It was a heartbreaker. It took a while to get over,” said De Minaur, who spent much of his early childhood in Spain. “But at the same time, I kind of showed myself that I can be in that position. I was very close to making the quarters of Wimbledon, which I hadn’t before. It’s all part of the learning experience and process. The next time I’m in that position, I’ll make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Ahead of his first-round match with 29-year-old Belgian qualifier Kimmer Coppejans, De Minaur sat down with ATPTour.com to discuss his thoughts about The Championships.
I remember watching it on TV, the lush green courts. My dad used to record on VHS tapes all the old finals – Borg, McEnroe, Becker – and made me watch them. So from a young age I’d watched a lot of matches. At that point I was living in Spain, so it was a little easier to watch than from Australia.
When you come on site for the first time as a junior you notice how special it is. How you’re not just in any other club. I mean, the amount of history and culture that you can just feel just as you walk inside the gates of this amazing place. It’s always a spine-tingling sensation, for sure.
I played a couple years of juniors. Made the final of Wimbledon juniors the second year and played on Court One, which was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in my career to that point. I just remember telling myself that I wanted to play the actual ATP matches there.
I’ve actually played a couple matches on the row of 14, 15, 16, 17, where I also played during the juniors. Last year I was fortunate enough to play on only on Court 1 and Centre Court and then my fourth round was on Court 2. Any court here is pretty special.
Strawberries and cream would be the biggest one for me. As soon as I get here I’ve got to try the strawberries and cream. You don’t get that anywhere else.
I think it suits my game quite well. It rewards flatter shots and I’m able to move quite well on the surface as opposed to some of the other players maybe. From day dot I convinced myself that I was always going to play well on grass.
One hundred per cent. The first couple of days can be like a different tournament to later on. On Monday and Tuesday you expect the courts to be quite slick and slippery, and that’s when slice is going to be quite effective. But then as the week goes by and the courts dry up and become a little firmer, that’s probably going to change the game style a little bit. That’s when you’ll be able to get more purchase with your topspin.
This article has been republished with permission from ATPTour.com.
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