Just 19, Alex De Minaur already takes after his coach, Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt was not only known for his fiery temper but also for leaving it all out on the court. And the young De Minaur, who’s only 5-foot-11 in a time of giants, seems to be the second coming of Hewitt.
De Minaur led 2014 champion Marin Cilic by two sets at the US Open last night. But the Croat came back, held on after having three match points with the Aussie serving 2-5, 0-40 in the fifth for a 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win in a match that ended at 2:22am.
Afterward, De Minaur pulled no punches.
“Not going to lie, pretty devastated, but at the same time it’s the beauty of this sport,” De Minaur said. “I was two sets to love up against a quality opponent today and didn’t manage to finish it off.
“But I left it all out there so I’ve got to be proud of my efforts. I gave it every single inch of energy I had left and it just wasn’t good enough today.”
“Looking forward to playing more of these five set matches and being able to hopefully have the opportunity to finish it off.”
Not surprisingly, Cilic was impressed by the kid.
“He showed an incredible fighting spirit,” Cilic said. “Throughout the match he was playing great tennis. First two sets was great tennis from him. He was moving extremely well. He was getting some balls that were almost incredible to get, some passing shots, some running forehands. So many great points from him in those first two sets.”
And you have to love that fighting spirit.
“Every time I step out on court, I tell myself that I’m going to play until the last point,” he said. “He was going to have to beat me. Eventually that’s what he did.
“But I did everything in my power to try and get back, everything ounce of energy to try and push. I managed to come back, but then he was too good at the end.”
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