Alex de Minaur.
A revitalised Alex de Minaur will begin his Wimbledon assault with renewed confidence. Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS
  • tennis

De Minaur armed with ‘new aura’ at Wimbledon

Ian Chadband June 30, 2024

Alex de Minaur’s belief in himself has sky-rocketed since his early exit from last year’s Wimbledon, to the point where he senses he’s entering the 2024 event armed with an aura in the locker room.

Even prepared to put a figure on his improvement over the 12 months since he got blown away in the second round by Matteo Berrettini, de Minaur says he now goes into matches against players he once felt he had a 15 per cent chance against by believing it’s at the very least a 50-50 shot.

“From last year I’ve made a substantial step in the right direction,” de Minaur said on Saturday as he reflected on feeling re-energised after a near couple of weeks break from competitive action.

He will meet fellow Australian James Duckworth in his opening match at the grass-court grand slam on Tuesday.

De Minaur’s self-belief has rocketed as he’s moved to being a top-10 performer this year.

Alex de Minaur.
 Alex de Minaur, a winner at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June, is now after the biggest grass-court title. Image by EPA PHOTO 

“It’s a big step from that 15-to-20 ranking to break into the top 10,” the now world No.9 said.

“Confidence-wise, mentality-wise, I’ve gone from going into certain matches maybe thinking I’ve got a 15 per cent chance of winning to genuinely thinking any match that I step out in, doesn’t matter who I’m playing, there’s a 50-50 chance.

“That’s the biggest difference and it gives me a huge edge to play these types of matches.

“In the past, I was probably already behind the eight-ball just because I didn’t quite believe it as much.”

De Minaur goes into Wimbledon having already downed Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev this season.

“All of a sudden, you think, ‘If I’ve done it once, why not do it twice?’,” he said.

“You put yourself in that position where even the other players start realising that, ‘Jeez, he’s already beaten these types of players, he’s is ready to go. He’s not going to give me an easy match’.

“And that just creates an aura, something within the locker room that definitely helps you as a competitor.

“That respect amongst the players that when I step out on the court now, rather than last year, it’s a completely different player – and the opponents believe it’s a different player as well.”

Alex de Minaur with Rafael Nadal.
 Beating the tennis elite this year has given Alex de Minaur renewed belief in his ability. Image by EPA PHOTO 

Despite that extra confidence, de Minaur isn’t getting ahead of himself, especially after an early exit at Queen’s Club last week against Lorenzo Musetti.

“I’m very content with the way I’m playing and, in a way, losing to Musetti just gave me a bit of time to take it easy and come to Wimby with a lot of energy,” he said as he looked forward to his first-round challenge.

“(Duckworth) is extremely dangerous, had very good wins on grass and I’m definitely ready for a battle.

“But I’m very chilled. It doesn’t change where I’m ranked, seeded or whatever – I was seeded last year and lost to a non-seed, so it’s just another week for me.”