Alex De Minaur, an 18 year old from Brisbane Australia is competing this week in Brisbane. He seems to have great potential and lots of talent. He is currently ranked 208 in the world, and has already notched wins this week over an accomplished Steve Johnson, Milos Raonic, and the upcoming American Michael Mmoh. He is being helped by former world NO.1 and accomplished veteran Lleyton Hewitt.
Watching Minaur this week, I see a confident Aussie with a powerful two-handed backhand, which is extremely effective in all parts of the court. He has incredible footspeed and anticipation on that wing. He can change directions on a dime similar to the way Kei Nishikori does. He is agile, maneuvering his opponent around the baseline. He is playing with supreme confidence right now, and is looking like he can finish 2018 inside the top 100.
Particularly his 6-4 6-4 victory over Raonic was super impressive. He converted 3/10 breakpoints and played them with so much belief. He handled the Canadian’s booming serve extremely well, as Raonic was only able to win 62% of his service points(combined both first and second serve). Yes, Raonic is not in his best form, as he it was his first match back, after an injury prone 2017. Regardless, Minaur is one to watch in the next few months.
He is 5 feet 11 inches, and doesn’t have a huge serve, which will have to improve. However his court management, defense, and backhand versatility will allow him to be a top 50 player quite soon. He is in the semifinals, and has a winnable match against either Ryan Harrison or Denis Istomin. Can he go all the way in Brisbane? We shall see.