Alex de Minaur has ‘plenty more to give’ as local hope moves on at Australian Open

Alex de Minaur continued his imposing start to the season with a straight-sets win over Matteo Arnaldi, defeating the Italian 6-3 6-0 6-3 to cruise into the third round of the Australian Open for a fifth time. 

As Australia’s top ranked singles player, he will feel strong expectation from the home crowd, but the world No.10 has declared he has ‘plenty more to give’ as he eyes a deep run at this year’s happy slam.

Former Wilmbledon finalist Milos Raonic was forced to retire from their first round encounter and so, with the win on Wednesday, de Minaur has spent just under four hours on court.

“It is a long two weeks if you want to get to the end of the tournament, which is ultimately [my] goal,” de Minaur said following his win over Arnaldi.

“I’ve learnt that the first week is all about getting through. It might not be your best tennis, but if you get through the first week you give yourself a chance to show what your made of and I guess that it is where the best tennis is being played.

“Hopefully I can make it there.”

The conservation of energy will prove pivotal for the 24-year-old who has never made it past the fourth round of his home slam.

Though he might be in the best position yet to give the Melbourne crowd something to cheer for this year after a statement start to the campaign has seen him muster up some of his best tennis.

A dominant display at the United Cup saw de Minaur hand world No.1 Novak Djokovic his first defeat in Australia since 2018 as well as impressive wins against the likes of Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz.

The home hope will now hear opportunity knocking in Melbourne as he looks to capitalise on a favourable draw when he takes on qualifier Flavio Cobolli on Friday.

“I really would like to show what I’m capable of”, he continued.

“So far, I have done what I needed to do to win the matches – it probably hasn’t been my prettiest level.

“I’ve played two opponents who haven’t allowed me to be as aggressive as I would like, but I do think I’ve got a lot more to show.”

Inside the baseline…

Alex de Minaur has been produced some of his most emphatic tennis in recent times to climb to a career-high ranking of No.10, so it seems like the best chance for the Aussie to break that R4 curse. He has faced a somewhat favourable draw up to this point, and will also be expected to see off the challenge of Italian qualifier Cobolli in the next round. The heat will then ramp up as a fourth round encounter with world No.5 Andrey Rublev could be on the cards. From what we have seen at the start of this year, the Australian is well in with a shot of causing some damage going into the second week, but he will have to dig deep and show the home fans what he is made of. 

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Jerome Coombe, Tennishead Writer, discovered his love for tennis journalism whilst studying languages and playing competitive tennis. He has a vast knowledge of tennis and strives to shed a light on all corners of the sport.