De Minaur On Competing With Aussies: 'We Would Do Anything For Each Other'
Australia will participate in the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020, receiving a wild card into the 24-country event. One of the two players who has committed to participate is #NextGenATP Australian star Alex de Minaur, who won his first ATP Tour title earlier this year at home in Sydney, where he was born.
De Minaur has reached his first tour-level quarter-final, semi-final, championship match as well as earned his maiden trophy in Australia. The 20-year-old greatly enjoys competing at home, and De Minaur spoke to ATPCup.com about his expectations for the new event, what it means to represent his country and more.
What are some of your first tennis memories from Australia?
I started hitting tennis balls when I was four years old and got signed up to a little tennis centre with three or four synthetic grass courts at the time in Carrs Park, in Sydney. That’s where it all started for me.
Do you have any memory in particular from when you first visited that centre?
I just loved going to practice. My parents originally signed me up to see how I would like it and from then on I just wanted to come back and play more and more.
You’ve spoken about watching guys like Lleyton Hewitt from your country growing up and how important that was to you. Were there any matches that stick out in your mind and why?
I remember watching a lot of matches, especially Lleyton growing up. He had a lot of epic matches and I used to stay up and watch. He had that late one at the Aussie Open against Baghdatis that finished at like 4am. It was pretty cool because then I get to ask him about how he felt the next day and all the behind the scenes stuff.
Has he told you anything that caught your attention from that match?
Yeah of course. A couple things here and there. It’s pretty funny. He told me that he went and had McDonald’s afterwards, so there’ve been some pretty funny stories.
One of the interesting things for you is that this team competition will actually be a home event for you. So how special will it be to not just represent your country, but to do it at home?
It’s going to be really cool. I can’t wait. I love playing at home and I think in team competition you can feel the support even more. It’s exciting times and I know at least for the time being, me and Nick, we’re really pumped to play at home.
Have you spoken to Nick about the ATP Cup yet?
Sure. We’ve been speaking about it for a while now. We both can’t wait for the moment to come so we can be side by side and represent Australia in the ATP Cup. I think we’ve got a good team and we’re pumped.
We don’t have the teams finalised yet, but out of all the Aussie guys, if you could take one shot from all of the Aussie guys, what would it be and why?
Serve I would take Nick’s. Forehand I would take Popyrin’s. Backhand I would take John Millman’s. Volleys I would take Jordan Thompson or John Peers. They both have great volleys.
It’s no secret that a lot of the Aussie guys spend a lot of time together on the ATP Tour? What are some of the funniest memories you have from your time together?
A lot happens behind closed doors, so probably should not mention them. But all I can say is it’s great to have them and every tournament where we’re in the same week together, we try to hang out together. The chemistry between us all is great. We all want the best for each other. Honestly, we would do anything for each other.
What are three things you love most about Australia?
I love the Aussie crowd. I love the beaches in Sydney. I love the food as well. There’s such a variety. I love a good Chicken Parmi at the pub. That’s probably my favourite meal.
When you’re on the road, what reminds you of Australia?
I feel like everyone is so nice. Just the way they speak, how you doin mate, good on ya mate. It just feels like everyone is close and I love that about Australia. It just reminds me of being close with everyone.