Australian tennis legend Rod Laver has encouraged rising star Alex de Minaur to continue working hard as he insists the 19-year-old is on the right road. De Minaur, who is enjoying his career-high ranking of No. 29 in the world, is currently the top-ranked Australian male tennis player.
The Australian has made a good start to the season as he captured his maiden ATP title at the Sydney International before the opening Grand Slam of the season. The 19-year-old was motivated to make a deep run at Melbourne Park this year and beat some top names -- but fell short in his attempt.
De Minaur beat Pedro Sousa and Henri Laaksonen in his opening two matches at Melbourne Park before he lost to 17-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. Nadal, ranked at No. 2 in the world, handed a 6-1 6-2 6-4 loss to the 19-year-old.
De Minaur was playing in the Australian Open main draw for the third time in his career. The Australian will be leaving the Australian Open with a career-best result achieved at Melbourne Park.
Alex, You’ve come along way since this pic was taken at the AO last year on your making the Davis Cup team. I remember a teenage Rafa going down to Lleyton in the 3rd round back in 2004. And look what Rafa’s done since.
In his previous two Australian Open appearances, de Minaur lost in the second round two years ago before he was beaten in his opener a year ago respectively. Also read: Dominic Thiem reveals what went wrong for him against Alexei Popyrin