Alex de Minaur eyes repeat Newcombe Medal highs
After his best year on tour, Newcombe Medal nominee Alex de Minaur is in contention to win the coveted award for a second time.
Top-ranked Australian Alex de Minaur is knocking on the door of the top 10 following his finest season to date.
The 24-year-old opened 2023 representing Australia at the United Cup, where he secured his biggest career win over then-world No.2 Rafael Nadal before his home crowd in Sydney.
It was his first of six top-10 wins in 2023, a marked improvement having previously claimed seven in total from 2017-2022.
De Minaur notched his second straight Australian Open fourth-round showing in January – the first Aussie man to achieve the feat since 2016 – before he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
His hard-court form carried to Acapulco in March, when he denied Holger Rune and Tommy Paul back-to-back for his seventh tour title, his first at ATP 500 level.
It was his first of four finals for the season.
De Minaur also finished runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s Club in June and to Stefanos Tsitsipas at Los Cabos in August before his first ATP Masters 1000 final at Toronto, where his victims included top-10 rivals Taylor Fritz and Daniil Medvedev before Jannik Sinner ended his run.
“Looking at the results, I’m pretty happy with where my level is at and how I’m continuously chipping away towards my goals,” De Minaur said following the final. “Step by step, I feel like I’m getting better. I’m showing my level against top opponents, day in and day out.
“And this week was a great week for me. I’m feeling confident. Still got areas which I need to improve on, and I think it’s going to be the case my whole career, but that’s the beauty of it.”
It paved the way for his third run to the round of 16 at the US Open three weeks later and by October he inched up a spot to world No.11 to become the highest-ranked Australian man since his mentor Lleyton Hewitt 17 years ago.
“I’m going to push every single ounce that I’ve got in my body, in myself, to get to the best level that I can,” De Minaur said.
“I’ll be very happy once I’m retired and I’m sitting on my couch, and I’ll be able to look at my career and say, ‘You know what? I achieved great things just by pure hard work and determination’.”
That unwavering resolve was on display when De Minaur saved match points twice in five weeks against Andy Murray at Beijing and the Paris Masters – the latter of which set him on course for a quarterfinal appearance in what was his his sixth straight triumph over the former world No.1 and fourth this year.
Finishing the year at a career-best world No.12, De Minaur rounded out his season as he started it, proudly donning the green and gold.
He orchestrated a rousing comeback against Jiri Lehecka to narrowly avoid elimination against the Czechs in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Malaga, where he guided Australia to consecutive finals for the first time in 22 years before the team succumbed to Italy.
This is De Minaur’s fourth Newcombe Medal nomination. He previously shared the prestigious award with Ash Barty in 2018.
|Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott
|Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur
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