Alex de Minaur: “This is just the beginning”
Buoyed by the career-best season that delivered a second Newcombe Medal, Alex de Minaur believes bigger breakthroughs are within reach.
Alex de Minaur is quick to point to the collective feat of the wider Australian cohort when reflecting on his second Newcombe Medal honour.
He sees it as a team effort of sorts, the results of fellow nominees fuelling each other’s success in 2023.
“It’s just amazing to see what Australian tennis has done this year,” said De Minaur. “To be able to see the results, all the fellow teammates going out there and playing some of their best tennis.
“It’s been a joy to watch and a joy to be a part of. I think we’ve got a strong 2024 coming and hopefully we can do even better than we did this year.”
Following a season in which he climbed as high as world No.11, landed a maiden ATP 500 title, a 200th career win and a second straight Davis Cup final, the goal posts have shifted for de Minaur.
While more at ease building up his compatriots, he offered a glimpse into his own ambitions for 2024.
“I think it’s no secret that I want to be with the best players in the world,” he said. “You know, breaking into the top 10 is obviously going to be a big goal of mine.
“I know it’s going to be tough. I’m quite close, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“Hopefully I can knuckle down, have a good start to the Australian summer and put myself in a good position to hopefully break that barrier.”
The 24-year-old gets his first taste of the Australian summer when he touches down from Monaco on Christmas Eve to begin his United Cup preparations.
On top of singles duty in Perth he could contest mixed doubles against his girlfriend Katie Boulter’s Great Britain.
From there, De Minaur’s seventh Australian Open campaign beckons where he bids to reach the second week for the third straight year.
“It’s an exciting time of the year for all of us Aussies,” he said. “I think we all thrive playing in our home country in our home Slam.
“We always seem to find an extra level when competing at home.”
Just the third player after Sam Stosur and Ash Barty to claim the Newcombe Medal at least twice, de Minaur does not take the honour lightly.
He first attended the awards night as a wide-eyed junior player surrounded by some of the biggest names in Australian tennis.
“From then on, I realised how important (it was), what the achievement and what the medal itself meant,” he says.
“For me that was always a big focus and something I always wanted to achieve, which was to do my part or do the best that I can in an individual performance representing Australia but also try to lift up those around me… to create a good culture and a nice camaraderie between all the players around and hopefully lift together.
“For me that’s always been kind of a dream of mine and I’m glad that I was able to achieve it, but in saying that, I think this is just the beginning.”
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