"I'm in the best shape of my life and I'm ready to have a big year," Aussie's Alex DeMinar proclaimed after finishing off his opponent, Italy's Matteo Berrettini at the ATP Cup in Sydney. De Minaur fooled most by coming out with the win in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 over Berrettini.
Team Italy was looking for Matteo to come through and his Italian comrade Jannik Sinner even was confident. But DeMinar had other plans. The Aussie's 2021 season wasn't of the most successful, as he scored only one title and that was back in June at Eastbourne against another Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
All of the other tournaments from that point on through now DeMinar fell during the opening of most tournaments with his confidence feeling a bit solemn but he stayed determined to do better. He even had a torrent fight to regain strength after a bout with the coronavirus last season making him miss the spectacular Tokyo Games.
It seems like he's keeping his promise though with the ATP Cup against Italy despite the only thing being in his favour was the home country location. The Aussie's comrade James Duckworth wasn't able to play the first match of the team because of a hip injury and this left all the stress on DeMinar who was laden down anyway from a below-par performance throughout the year.
The win pushed Australia up 2-1 against Italy and gave the winning Aussie the confidence he needed after getting the roar of approval from the Aussie crowd and teammates. Alex's win of the first set was enough emotional support to keep the gas on Berrettini who had clearly felt the heat.
He tried and pushed the second set to a tiebreak winning 7 of 4 points. The crowd had gone bonkers as DeMinar scored point after point over a visibly tired Berrettini who ran out of steam and strategies to defeat his Aussie opponent.
De Minaur had a huge grin on his face and enormous pride admitting about his previous tournament performances. "It's not about how many times you get knocked down...it's about how many times you...get back up again."
He'll be participating in the Doubles next to test his multiple skills and determination for a sport he still has the vigour and love to do well and enjoy the victories.