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“Bring this Alex more often” to the ATP Tour – De Minaur at his best at Davis Cup as he embraces leadership role
Alex de Minaur is all about the green and gold. The 23-year-old Aussie is embodying the Davis Cup spirit just like his captain, Lleyton Hewitt.
As the 109th player to play a Davis Cup match for the storied Australian team, Alex de Minaur celebrated the milestone by having the number “109” on his left pectoral. The gesture is impressive, but the true commitment that De Minaur has made runs even deeper.
De Minaur has now won nine of ten singles rubbers at Davis Cup, and his latest triumph, a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Botic Van de Zandschulp, was a tie-clinching victory that put Australia in the Davis Cup semis.
We live in an age where players tend to shy away from pouring their heart and soul into Davis Cup. In a packed ATP calendar, that runs from the dawn of the new year until mid-November, top players have made a habit of shying away.
Not De Minaur.
“I reckon probably what I need to take it to the next level on the ATP Tour is bring this Alex more often. But there is something special about representing your country and playing for Australia and being part of this team.”— Alex de Minaur
The 23-year-old Aussie embodies the Davis Cup spirit that his current captain, legend Lleyton Hewitt was known for. Hewitt, Australia’s all-time leader in victories, achieved the highest level of success on the ATP Tour as well, winning two major titles and reaching the No 1 ranking.
De Minaur would love to do the same some day, and hopes to use his Davis Cup fire to get there.
“I reckon probably what I need to take it to the next level on the ATP Tour is bring this Alex more often,” he said. “But there is something special about representing your country and playing for Australia and being part of this team.”
De Minaur, ranked 24, may one day parlay his Davis Cup success into titles on tour, but he’s more concerned about the here and now – Australia stands two victories from its 29th Davis Cup title (which would be De Minaur’s first, and Australia’s first since 2003) the nation is slated to face either Croatia or Spain in the semis.
“This has always been a dream of mine, and I will always do everything in my power to try and deliver for my country, my teammates, and my captain,” he said. “It’s pride, it’s passion, and it’s a whole lotta heart.”
Alex the leader of men
As the highest-ranked player on the Australian team, De Minaur has taken on a leadership role as well. While the team did a training block in Paris to prepare for these Davis Cup Finals, the “Demon” set the bar in practice sessions.
“We did a lot of hours out there,” he told media on Tuesday in Malaga. “The boys pushed each other and, you know, as Lleyton said, it’s a big reason why we probably got that win today, because we both knew out there that we could keep on going for a very long time, you know, because we put in the hours, we put in the hard work, and we believe in our fitness and our preparation.”
Hewitt is more than pleased to have De Minaur setting the tone for the green and gold.
“Alex takes that level, that standard, to a high level, which drags everyone else with him,” he said. “Which is, for me, something pretty proud to see a young guy do that and step up and take the leading role on court. Makes my job a hell of a lot easier.”