World no. 21 and one of the most promising youngsters on the Tour, Alex de Minaur was forced to skip the upcoming Australian Open due to an abdominal tear injury suffered at the ATP Cup. The winner of three ATP titles in 2019 gave his best for the home nation at the ATP Cup, battling against Alexander Zverev, Denis Shapovalov, Daniel Evans and Rafael Nadal for incredible 11 hours and 20 minutes, not to mention his doubles duties as well!
Alex felt problems already against Shapovalov and it only got worse by every next match, forcing him to skip both Adelaide and the Australian Open where he was among the dark horses for the title. A year ago, de Minaur enjoyed a fantastic January at home, reaching the quarter-final in Brisbane, winning the title in Sydney and advancing into the third round at the Australian Open where he lost to Rafael Nadal.
At the moment, it is uncertain will Alex be able to recover in time for Acapulco in the last week of February, not signing for any tournaments before the ATP 500 event in Mexico. "It's not great, I'm not going to lie.
It's a week of the calendar that I look forward to and put in all the hard work for, so it's pretty devastating to miss out on my home Slam," De Minaur said. "I wanted to go out there and play, even though I've got a four-centimeter Grade 2 tear.
So it's not a joke – it's something severe. Getting out of bed hurts, everyday activity it hurts. So I was optimistic, but obviously, it wasn't the case to recover in time. Everyone was telling me not to play; it is the smartest decision at the moment.
I certainly prepared for the amount of tennis played. Going in, you always knew it was going to be tough, especially looking at my schedule. I was playing Zverev in my first match of the year, Shapovalov as well, had some grueling encounters.
Still, I didn't expect to injure myself, that's for sure. I gradually felt my first bit of pain during my Shapovalov match. After that took four days off, then played Evans in a very long clash. Played the doubles, then a day off, then I played Rafa.
During that one, I could feel something there, although I didn't think it was that bad. Then flew to Adelaide, got a scan, and the scan revealed that I had the tear, which is a quite significant one compared to other ones I've had in the past.
Now, it's all about recovering. It's a new tear in the same area as old problems, only a little bit bigger. The risks of me potentially playing... was that it could get worse, get to sort of a Grade 3 tear, which involves stitches, and that means probably a problem for the rest of your career.
It's something to do with the workload, mainly because it only happens at the start of the year. And especially in the first weeks. After that, I'm able to play throughout the whole year perfectly. So, it's something me and my team have got to look at.
As tough as it is right now, I've got to learn from what's happened and decide on different alternatives for next time. It's going to be pretty tough to hear about tennis but even though it killed me, this is the right decision. Now I've just got to look at what's ahead."