The 20-year-old Alex de Minaur took part in a Newcombe Medal presentation on Monday evening after a breakthrough season, conquering three ATP titles in 2019 and finishing in the top-20 as the fourth Aussie in the last two decades.
After a stellar junior career, the Sydney native proved his quality in January 2018, advancing into the semi-final in Brisbane and the final in Sydney to show full potential and target higher ranking positions in the rest of the season.
De Minaur played in the third round at Wimbledon and the final in Washington where he lost to Alexander Zverev, coming on the verge of the top-30 and securing the spot at the Next Gen Masters in Milan where he defeated Liam Caruana, Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz and Jaume Munar before losing the title clash to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Alex went even further in 2019, winning 41 matches and lifting three ATP crowns in the first full season without Challengers. Working steadily on improvements and coming back from an injury, Alex became one of the youngsters to watch in the future, standing as the sixth player born in 1995 or after with six ATP finals and seeking a place in the top-10 in the season ahead of us, kicking off the action at the ATP Cup.
The seven-time singles Major champion John Newcombe is happy with de Minaur's progress so far, seeing him in the top-10 soon and also as a Major champion in a couple of years, expecting the best tennis from the Sydney native in some five or six years.
The 16-time doubles Major champion Todd Woodbridge thinks his compatriot should become a Grand Slam contender in a couple of years after gathering more experience on the biggest scene, just like Ashleigh Barty did before winning the crown at Roland Garros this June.
"You have to win seven matches in the best-of-five format and Kyrgios keeps breaking down," Woodbridge said. "The physicality of the body goes to the mind, and then you've got that chance of being able to win a Major.
He doesn't have that right now. The one that does is Alex de Minaur. He's got the physicality and the mind. He has to get some more weapons. I think he should be a Grand Slam contender in two years. He has to reach the quarters and semis first and gain experience, just like Barty did."