Alex de Minaur: The ultimate team player

Australia’s top-ranked player, Alex de Minaur, will have a special supporter in his corner at Laver Cup London 2022: Rod Laver. While Rocket Rod is usually an impartial observer of the event created in his honor, he has a special affection for his fellow Australian.

Like the Rocket 60 years before him, the “Demon” – as Alex is known – has defeated many opponents with his incredible speed and mental toughness and displayed a fighting spirit that fueled the Rocket’s huge success on its way to its 11 Majors.

Born in Sydney, raised in Spain and mentored by another Australian superstar, Lleyton Hewitt, de Minaur is the ultimate team player and expects to fit into the squad world easily.

“It’s an amazing opportunity; it’s a place I wanted to be,” says de Minaur.

“I’m competing against the best in Team Europe and I’m really excited to be part of the team and to play under Captain John McEnroe.

“We’ve got all the greats on the other side of the pitch, it’s going to be incredibly tough for us but at the same time we’re up for the challenge.

“I think we have a strong team. We have players who can beat anyone on any given day, we will definitely bring it to them. It won’t be easy, we will fight to the end and hopefully win.”

How it is going

De Minaur methodically rebuilt his ranking in 2022 after a stomach rupture in early 2020 altered his career path.

The two-time Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up and six-time ATP Tour singles winner lit up Melbourne Park in January with three emphatic wins over lower-ranked opponents, stopped only by No.10 Jannik Sinner from progressing.

It would take higher-ranked opponents to slow his progress in subsequent tournaments: No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Rotterdam quarterfinals and later in the third round of the Miami Masters.

Team World teammate Taylor Fritz was de Minaur’s biggest obstacle. The in-form American ended his run in the round of 16 at Indian Wells, and at Eastbourne Fritz defeated the reigning champion in the semis, both games in three tight sets. De Minaur was a consistent and dangerous opponent throughout the clay-court swing, upsetting No.10 Cameron Norrie at Barcelona and edging out eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals which the Spaniard won 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 6. 4.

Alex De Minaur will make his debut appearance with Team World at The O2.

He impressed again at the Rome Masters in the third round against No.3 Alexander Zverev and was a semi-finalist in Lyon. De Minaur edged out two Englishmen in the second and third rounds in his best-ever Wimbledon before losing a five-set fight to Chilean Cristian Garin.

He bounced back the following week, capturing his sixth tour-level singles title in Atlanta and eliminating Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov in the early rounds of the Canada Masters.

De Minaur avenged his Wimbledon loss to Garin in the first round of the US Open before saying goodbye to good friend Pablo Carreno Busta, with whom he won his only doubles title, the 2020 ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati.

Play at the Laver Cup

De Minaur says he would love to play anyone at the Laver Cup London.

It will also be extremely funny in another format. It will get the juices flowing, playing in a team environment that I love and bypassing my teammates. I’ll be ready to go, ready to get fire

“I will bring a lot of struggle, a lot of competitiveness, a lot of excitement and energy – as always – I will give 150% for my teammates. I will be ready.

“I love playing for more than just myself. It’s always a great environment to be with teammates, that we support each other. Tennis is a very individual sport for the whole year and we get these special events here and there to play as a team and I really cherish those moments.

“London, The O2, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. It’s a special place, it’s going to be a special event and hopefully a special tennis will be played there.”

Read Alex de Minaur’s Team World profile

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