Alex de Minaur feels his 2022 season is already heading in the right direction, even after his career-best run at the Australian Open came to an end in the fourth round against 11th seed Jannik Sinner on Monday.
“It’s been a good start to the season, bringing in some good momentum,” said de Minaur in his post-match press conference. “[I] came up short today, but [I’m] happy with where my level is going. It’s definitely a big improvement from last year. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
The Australian World No. 42 battled hard but ultimately fell short, losing 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4 to an inspired performance from the Italian on Rod Laver Arena.
With his defeat, de Minaur slipped to a 0-3 ATP Head2Head record against Sinner. The Australian acknowledged another special performance from his opponent, but has already identified the moments in the match that he can learn from.
“I had chances,” said de Minaur. “[I] didn’t take those opportunities, those breakpoints early. I came up with an opponent that played very well and just played some very good tennis in the important moments.
“We all know the amazing firepower he has, so I felt like I played a loose game to get broken [in the second set]. I just missed a couple forehands which I tried to press a little bit more than maybe I should have. He got the early break and was able to run away.”
De Minaur was nonetheless pleased with his Australian swing, having given a strong performance for his country at the ATP Cup that included a win over World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini, before reaching the fourth round in Melbourne. He credited a new mental approach for his early-season success.
“It’s a long year,” said de Minaur, “but my hopes and goals are to keep at least my attitude and my mindset throughout the whole year. It’s easier said than done, but that’s the focus.”
De Minaur has also benefitted from the strong camaraderie shared among the Aussie contingent on the ATP Tour, particularly helpful when under pressure to perform at a home slam. He remains optimistic about the prospects of the five Australians that remain in the men’s doubles draw.
“As a fellow Australian, it’s exciting whenever any Aussie player does well,” said de Minaur. “I think we’ve got such a great team chemistry. I mean, you’ve got Nick [Kyrgios] and Kokk [Thanasi Kokkinakis] doing great stuff. [Matthew] Ebden and [Max] Purcell still, Peersy [John Peers] still going. I think it’s exciting stuff.
“It’s amazing the level they can show and put on the court day in and day out, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how the week unfolds.”