by Jackie Epstein - Published in the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph
14 January 2023
No more flying under the radar for Aussie ace.
He's used to flying under the radar but Aussie ace Alex de Minaur has sky-high confidence.
The 23-year-old says he deserves to be considered among the next generation of challengers to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who he beat for the first time at the United Cup.
"To go deep at my home slam is very important and something I really want to be able to accomplish," he said.
"That's been my whole career (flying under the radar). But I'm getting there.
"Every day is getting better, I'm putting myself out there and I really want to be playing these guys week in and week out and that's my goal. I think my level is there."
De Minaur recorded his best result last year at the Australian Open, making the fourth round. He meets qualifier Yu Hsiou Hsu in the first round on Monday.
"I kind of just worry about myself and focus on improving and doing better things on the court and hopefully let my results do the talking," he said.
"That's the plan to be going deep in slams and big tournaments. That's what you want to be doing ultimately and I'll do all I can."
When De Minaur arrived in Melbourne over a week ago he began mentally refreshing and played a round of golf.
He lives in Monaco but has family in Sydney, Spain and the US. The 'Demon' has his partner, British player Katie Boulter, alongside him for support after she bowed out in qualifying. "She had a tough one but she started the year amazingly, winning a title in Canberra and playing some great tennis," he said.
"She wanted to play this week but there's a lot of positives for her. She's great to have around. Just with everything, it's quite lonely on tour and it's nice to have a partner that works in the same world and we understand each other. And we can help each other in certain tough situations."
After De Minaur lost to Andy Murray on Thursday at Kooyong he was calm and relaxed.
During the promotional shoot for sports and wellness nutrition brand eniQ, of which he is an ambassador, he said he was constantly searching for that extra one percent.
"Tennis is a cut-throat sport where every single percentage counts. I need the best supplements and product to perform. It gives me all the qualities I need for a tough five-set match in the heat and that's the one percenter you need in a tough sport,"
He added: "I've put a lot of hours on the court so it's just as important to keep a healthy balance with life off the court.
"It was a long year and we started quite early. There wasn't a lot of time off and it was a roll-on effect if anything. You don't want to spend too much time relaxing because it takes a lot more time to get back to where you want to be.
"Australia, it's a long way away. But I try to get here as early as I can and leave as late as I can and spend the summer here."