It’s been just over a month since the 2020 tennis season finished at the ATP Finals in London.
And we’ve waited a long and torrid 44 days for its return…
But thankfully, tennis is back!
This week the ATP Tour will kick off its 2021 season with two ATP250 events at Delray Beach and Antalya.
After the coronacoaster that was 2020, many players will be looking to get the new season off to a flying start.
One such player is Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur.
Following a turbulent start to 2020, missing out on the Australian Open due to an abdominal injury, de Minaur worked his way back up to full fitness and battled to the quarterfinals of the US Open and the finals of the European Open in Antwerp.
But his injury accompanied by the chaos of the pandemic marred his year in disappointment as the young Australian explained to the Double Bagel Podcast, “I thought I set myself up for a big year, but if the injury or the pandemic wasn’t around, I thought maybe I could push it to these top guys and push up the rankings, but hopefully 2021 can be that year.”Embed from Getty Images
The Australian came flying into 2020 off the back of a breakthrough year, finishing the 2019 season at a career-high of 18 in the ATP Rankings.
At the mere age of 19, he bagged three huge wins at Zhuhai, Atalanta, and in his home city of Sydney, while also finishing as a runner up at the ATP Next Gen Finals.
And he steamrolled into 2020 showing he could take on the best and win, demolishing Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov in his first two matches at the ATP Cup at the start of 2020.
But with injury woes and a pandemic plagued season, his momentum was stifled early on.
And after pushing Rafael Nadal to three sets in the ATP Cup, exchanging some monstrous blows with the world No.2, de Minaur was very missed at the 2020 Australian Open.
Speaking on his 2020 campaign, de Minaur described his 2020 season to the Double Bagel Podcast as “an okay year.”
“It’s not what I expected going in, but I’m also happy with the results I managed to get with all things considering and to be able to finish the year where I am sets me up for a big 2021.”
He did manage to get his season back on track and made waves at the US Open, becoming the youngest Australian to reach a quarter-final at Flushing Meadows since his mentor Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.
And although he lost to Dominic Thiem in the quarters, de Minaur bounced back two months later brushing past Gregor Dimitrov to reach the finals of the European Open in Antwerp.
His only silverware of the year came at the Cincinnati Open, where he won the doubles championship alongside Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta.
All-in-all, it was a good season for the Aussie and although he didn’t achieve the heights of 2019, he showed he can reach the later rounds of the major tournaments, and gained great experience playing there.
We think de Minaur will go on to do big things in 2021 and it seems he certainly has the hunger to do so.
Eyes on 2021
On court it’s almost like de Minaur is playing with his opponents.
Like a cat toying with his prey, he gives his opposition a glimmer of hope allowing them to play deep killer shots into the pockets of the court, that would normally secure them a point.
But at the very moment, they think they’ve got one past him, de Minaur almost cruelly strikes back.
Using his tearing pace, the Aussie almost always manages to make it to the ball just in time to recover the shot and swipe the ball back into the far reaches of their own court.
Check out some of his highlights below, they are pretty incredible to watch.
And it’s no wonder why he’s called the ‘Speed Demon’ when you see how quickly he transitions across the court.
Plus, his accuracy to place the ball in such unreachable positions in his oppositions court, while moving at such high speed, is perhaps what makes his tennis game so impressive.
It’s a skill you just cannot teach.
That accompanied by his resilience and never-say-die attitude is why we think he will crush many players both mentally and through his intricate tennis game this year.
When asked how he’ll be approaching the 2021 season, de Minaur was clear on his intentions, stating “I want to make the second week of slams.”
And the Sydney born tennis star did struggle at times last season, failing to make it past the first round in four tournaments.
We can see why his target for this year is to consistently make a dent in each competition he plays in.
“I want to go and be going deep every week, week in and week out, that’s the plan. Who knows what will happen, but that’s what I’m looking forward to and going to be pushing for.”
But his outlasting tennis game, coupled with his extreme pace makes him a big favourite to win in Antalya this week.
And with the Australian Open just 5 weeks away, we are very excited to see what he’ll deliver on home soil in this year.
Make sure you don’t miss out on Alex de Minaur at this year’s Australian Open and secure your tickets today via Tixel.com.au.
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