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In-Depth: Alex De Minaur’s Leap Of Faith Leads To New Leaps And Bounds
3 Min Read · March 11, 2024

In the Top 10 for the first time in his career, the Aussie refuses to sit still

They call him “The Demon,” and the nickname fits him like a glove: Australia’s Alex de Minaur is known for his blinding quickness around the court, as well as his indefatigable will to compete. 

His wheels have always been his calling card, but as the 2024 season rolled around, the Aussie decided he wanted to rely on a different currency: power. 


Already in the Top 15 at the end of 2023, it would have been easy for De Minaur – long considered an overachiever due to his relatively diminutive 6’ 152-lb frame – to be satisfied. But the 25-year-old isn’t the type of talent who sits around spinning his wheels. 

Tired of getting outhit by the ATP’s elite, the Sydney, Australia native decided he needed push back. De Minaur made a commitment to break out of the box and start landing a few more knockout blows. 

“Obviously something had to change, and that meant backing myself and playing, I guess, with less fear and more of the kind of aggressive mindset,” the No.10-ranked Aussie said after hammering past Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, 7-5, 6-0 on Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. 

De Minaur, who improved to 17-4 on the season with his victory, says that his game has incrementally been headed in that direction over the past few years, but he solidified the commitment prior to the 2024 season. 

“I think it's been an aspect of my game that's gradually been improving over the years,” he said of his aggressive inclinations. 

Fresh off a successful title defense in Acapulco, and riding a seven-match winning streak, De Minaur told reporters on Sunday that he has added muscle to his frame to help him deliver more power in his game. He’s leaving no stone unturned in his quest to climb higher. 

“I've always had these kinds of tools and variety to my game that I didn't often bring onto the court a lot of the time,” he said. “I felt like I was getting pushed side to side or even bullied around the court way too often. 

“You could call it a leap of faith, or more of an aggressive mindset: if I want to be beating the best players in the world, this is my only chance – I'm not going to beat them by doing the same stuff that I've been doing in the past.”

If De Minaur needed encouragement that he was on the right path, he got it in the form of a 6-4, 6-4 victory over World No.1 Novak Djokovic at the United Cup in January. 

The triumph over the 24-time major champion marked De Minaur’s first win over a reigning World No.1, a win in which the Aussie won 33 of 34 first-serve points against a player widely considered to be the best returner of all-time. 

“The win was huge and a huge milestone for me,” De Minaur said on Sunday, as he recalled his second career meeting with the Serbian. “It kind of got things rolling in the right direction, right?” 

It has been a season of new milestones for De Minaur. Prior to the Australian Open he cracked the Top 10 for the first time, becoming the first man from Australia to hold a Top 10 ranking since Hall of Famer Lleyton Hewitt did so in 2006. 

“For me this year has been huge from the very start,” De Minaur said. “I've felt like I found another gear, and even breaking into the top 10 was a huge moment for me.”

De Minaur, who will face No.6-seeded Alexander Zverev in the Round of 16, admits that over the course of the last few seasons, he wondered if he’d ever make it to where he is today. 

“As years go by, as you enter the tour, you're in the juniors, you're playing the seniors, and you start to realize, jeez, this isn't as easy as I once thought,” he said. “And at times you question if you're really going to make it, because there's so many unbelievable players out there. 

“To be able to break through all those barriers and get that belief in myself that I am indeed good enough to be a top-10 player, beating the best players in the world and doing this week in and week out, it was one of those moments that you dream of as a kid.”

Now that he’s inside the Top 10 the man they call The Demon hopes he can keep the good times rolling. 

“From then on I've definitely been able to kind of believe in myself more, trust myself, trust what I'm doing. Basically then all the work that I'm putting in and the type of tennis that I'm playing in that mindset is definitely working for me.”

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