2018 Newcome Medal winner Alex de Minaur has had an excellent couple of seasons but the big question is how soon can he join the rank of the challengers to the Fab Three. Former Aussie tennis star John Newcombe has the answer…
De Minaur was the Next Gen Finals winner in 2018 and followed it up with a runner-up trophy in 2019. And to go with that, the Aussie also won the ATP Sydney International, Atlanta Open and Zhuhai International earlier this year to announce himself to the world by finishing the season on a career-ranking of number 18th in the world.
Where de Minaur could show improvement if he wants to get into the big leagues is his performances at the Grand Slams. While he will be reasonably pleased with his fourth round appearance at the 2019 US Open, that has his best showing at a major so far. A third round exit at the Australian Open earlier in the year was followed by back to back second round ousters in the next two Grand Slam competitions.
To be fair to de Minaur, this was the first year in which he didn’t play any Challenger competition, so the performance graph has definitely looked like it’s going up. Newcombe admitted it is tough to expect him to go the distance at Grand Slams just yet but gave it two years before he wins a major.
The Aussie legend also spoke of de Minaur’s brilliant second part of the season raining hopes of a way more brilliant 2020.
“He’s a probable top-15 and hopefully top-12 or top-10 player as long as he can stay injury-free as every question asked of him he’s come up with the right answers.”
He also added he reckons de Minaur’s best tennis will come when he’s reached the age of around 25 or 26, in a few years from now. However, as far as challenging players for a Grand Slam, he could be in with a chance earlier than that.
“I can’t see him contending in a Grand Slam the next 12 months because that’s a little quick – I think he’s a couple of years away from that. I would think Alex would be playing his best tennis around 25 or 26 years of age.”
De Minaur starts off at 80/1 (with Bet365) to win the Australian Open 2020.