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Who is Alex de Minaur? Meet the young Aussie tennis star

Meet the 19-year-old Aussie tennis up-and-comer everyone is talking about right now.

By Rebecca Sullivan
Alex De Minaur - pronounced "Dee Minn-Or" - is the 19-year-old Aussie tennis star everyone can't stop talking about at the moment.
He's currently ranked 29th in the world, but he's the top-ranked male Aussie player at this year's Australian Open tournament, above more experienced players like Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. He's also currently the second youngest player ranked in the world's top 100.
Alex has had a cracking start to 2019 and tennis fans are pinning their hopes on the young gun to revive Australia's traditionally lacklustre performance at our own Grand Slam tournament.
So, who exactly is this guy? Here's everything you need to know about Australia's next big thing in tennis.

He's actually part Spanish

Alex comes from a rich multicultural family - his father is from Uruguay and his mother is Spanish.
Alex was born in Sydney, but he actually lived in Spain until he was 13 years old, and then his family moved back to Australia.
That means he is fluent in English and Spanish and also speaks some French - so cool!
"I used to represent Spain but I always felt I was Australian. As soon as we moved back here again that was the first thing I wanted to do — play for Australia," Alex told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2017.
Alex during his first year of professional tennis in 2015. (Image: Getty)

Early tennis career

Alex first picked up a tennis racquet when he was three years old, but turned pro in 2015.
He was given a wildcard into the qualifying rounds of the 2016 Australian Open, but lost in round one. He made his Grand Slam debut the following year at the Australian Open and made it through to the second round of the competition.
In May 2017 he made his French Open debut after being awarded a wildcard and lost in the opening round.
He finished 2017 with a ranking of 208, following his win of a main draw wildcard into the 2018 Australian Open.
A fresh-faced Alex playing at the 2015 US Open. (Image: Getty)

2018: The Breakthrough Year

The past 12 months have been the biggest of Alex's career. (Image: Getty)
Alex began 2018 on home soil at the Australian Open, where he lost in the first round to Tomáš Berdych, but managed to win one set against the 19th seed - a massive feat for a much more junior player.
While he didn't progress too far in any tournaments, he racked up a long list of defeats against loads of players with way more experience under their belts. These victories saw him enter the top 50 players in the world - from #208 - for the first time.
In October last year, Alex replaced Nick Kyrgios as Australia's highest ranked male singles player.
Here's a list of everyone Alex beat in 2018:
  • Steve Johnson from America - #34
  • Milos Raonic from Canada - #24
  • Michael Mmoh from America- #96
  • Fernando Verdasco from Spain- #28
  • Damir Džumhur from Bosnia - #46
  • Feliciano López from Spain - #64
  • Benoît Paire from France - #53
  • Dan Evans from Britain - #192
  • Marco Cecchinato from Italy - #18
  • Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France- #53
  • Vasek Pospisil from Canada- #71
  • Chung Hyeon - #25
  • Alexander Zverev from Germany - #19
  • Taro Daniel from Japan - #82
  • Frances Tiafoe from America- #39

Massive win at 2019 Sydney International

In the lead up to this year's Australian Open, Alex took out the Sydney International tournament at the beginning of January, sending his ranking and salary skyrocketing.
So far, he has won $1,503,341 USD, or about $2.08 million in prize money. Not bad for a 19-year-old!
At the Sydney International he had straight set victories in all five of his matches, even defeating Andreas Seppi 7-5, 7-6 to claim his first career title.
As of January 7, he is ranked 29th in the world.
Alex holding his Sydney International winner's trophy. (Image: Getty)

Mr Nice Guy breaks and cracks

Despite his success at the Sydney International, it wasn't without controversy.
Alex has traditionally been thought of as the "Young Nice Guy" of tennis, the antithesis to the moody Tomic and Kyrgios.
But tricky wet weather conditions on Saturday meant he was forced to play two matches in one day, which is very unusual. Then he found out he would also be playing the following Monday - with just over 24 hours rest in between - during the Australian Open.
When asked about the hectic schedule, Alex let loose.
"What is more annoying is me having to play Monday at the Australian Open and not getting helped out as a fellow Aussie at your home slam," he told reporters in Sydney.
"I think they are punishing Aussies for playing deep in their home tournaments and I think that's not what they should be doing.
"They came out with the schedule before they even saw the halves or saw who was in the final in the weeks prior. I think that is pretty poor."
Alex's manager said his client was "ambushed" by AAP journalist Scott Bailey straight after coming off court, but Bailey disagreed.
"For background, Alex was hardly ambushed," Bailey tweeted.
"He spoke about Australian Open unprompted when asked first question about how he felt playing twice on that day in Sydney. But that's not a bad thing. It's good. He's entitled to give his opinion."
But on Sunday, Alex had changed his tune and said he was ready for the physical challenge of three matches in three days.
"Once the time comes, I'll be ready," Alex said.
"I don't want to think about it too much. I feel like the body is good. I'm mentally fresh.
"I just can't wait to get back out on court, and especially at the Australian Open."
The usually contained player let out his frustration at the Sydney International. (Image: Getty)

Australian Open first round win

As the highest-ranked Aussie at the Open, Alex might be feeling the pressure. But his first round performance against Portuguese Pedro Sousa was incredible - he won in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
"I'm feeling stoked. That was one of the biggest wins of my career," he said on Monday after the win.
"It was pretty hot out there, but I thought I managed the conditions really well. Happy to get through in straight sets.
"This is why you put in the hard yards in the pre-season, to be able to back it up day in and day out. It's good to see the work paying dividends."
Now, all eyes will be on Alex on Wednesday night when he plays Swiss player Henri Laaksonen, who is ranked 93rd in the world.
Alex says his "body feels good", but the intense schedule will put him to the test.
"I'm looking forward to [the match]. I'll just take it easy. I'll be able to really focus on my recovery and get ready for my next round," he said.
"This is my second time in the second round. I think I'm a completely different player from a couple years ago.
"Really looking forward to going out there, coming back, just having fun. I think that's the main thing. To feed off the energy of the crowd."
We doubt that will be hard to do, with all of the Aussies in the crowd backing their newest star hope. Good luck Alex!