De Minaur: “I’ve made a lot of steps in the right direction”
Alex de Minaur is determined to learn from his fourth-round loss to world No.5 Andrey Rublev at Australian Open 2024.
Alex de Minaur has vowed he’ll bounce back stronger following his fourth-round exit at Australian Open 2024.
The 24-year-old came close to advancing to his first quarterfinal at his home Grand Slam, before bowing out in five sets against world No.5 Andrey Rublev at Rod Laver Arena.
Rublev recorded a 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 victory in their taxing four-hour and 14-minute encounter.
“I know the areas I’ve got to work on. Again, like I’ve done my whole career, I’ll get better, I’ll improve, and hopefully next time I’ll be able to take it to the next level,” De Minaur declared.
“I know it’s a little bit disappointing that I’m sitting here after a loss in the fourth round. (But) I do think I’ve made a lot of steps in the right direction.
“I think my level is quite there. Against top-10 opponents this year, I’m 3-1. It’s not the worst of things. I was very close. I’m doing the right things.”
It ends a magical summer for De Minaur, who scored three top-10 wins to steer Australia into the United Cup semifinals.
This effort saw De Minaur become the first Aussie man in 17 years to hold a top-10 singles rankings.
“It’s a tough, tough match to finish up my campaign here,” De Minaur conceded. “Obviously had aspirations for more.
“(But) Andrey deserved the win. He played too good in the fourth and fifth sets. He kind of, in my eyes, just let go and started swinging freely, caught a little purple patch. It was too good in the end.
“It’s not a match that I thought I lost physically. It was just that the racquet was taken out of my hand. Got to a stage where I just could not get him moving or expose that movement. He was just standing and hitting from every single part of the court.”
De Minaur believes landing only 53 per cent of first serves also hurt his chances.
“I just was not finding first serves,” he said. “In those crucial moments, I was giving him too many second serves and he was able to just swing freely.”
It is world No.10 De Minaur’s third consecutive fourth-round loss at Melbourne Park and one he admits hurts a little more.
“Perspective changes with results, right?” he said.
“All of a sudden expectation and what you believe you should be achieving also changes. Maybe in the past I would have been somewhat content with a fourth round, but I thought I had more in me.
“I saw it as a great opportunity and a match that I strongly believed I could have won. But it just slipped away.”
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