Alex de Minaur serves at US Open 2019

“I’ve tried to bottle up many different emotions” Australian star Alex de Minaur opens up on psychological challenges

World No.26 Alex de Minaur presents a strong persona on court but he’s human and has now detailed the mental problems he faced and how he’s managed to overcome them 


Alex de Minaur has an attitude on the tennis court that portrays a real strength of character, now that strength has been brought into sharp focus by a recent interview the Australian gave with ‘Behind the Racquet’ in which he lays bare the off court mental challenges he faced after an injury sidelined him from tennis. After recovering from the groin injury he found the results on court didn’t come as readily as before and these poor results started negatively effecting his psychological strength.

De Minuar said, “I had to be sidelined during my injury. I was expecting myself to come back at the same level, but ended up not being able to win a match for a fair bit. You start to doubt it all and ask yourself, “Jeez, what am I doing here? Why am I traveling?” It feels like there’s no positives. You’re traveling, away from home and you start to look at only the negatives.

“It takes so much effort to get yourself back into a positive head space going into the next tournament, until you lose first round again and it takes an even bigger toll. At Queens this year, after I lost my match, I didn’t want to get out of my room for a day. I finished at like 4:00 PM, went to Tescos and I bought five packets of lollies, chocolate and a Coke. I didn’t talk to anyone until midday the next day. That’s when you know you’re in a bad head space. The main thing that I realized is that anything that happens, on and off the court, highly affects you every time you play.

“I realized that I had to deal with my problems off-court first, to truly be able to focus solely on tennis. Tennis is a battle of its own. The amount of things you have to do to prepare for matches is unbelievable, even when you are in the right head space. I was speaking to my psychologist about once a month. I had an unbelievable year last year. He had to sit me down to let me know that what I thought was unbelievable, was going to lead to new stresses. He told me the work we were doing wasn’t enough. We actually had to do much more because what’s coming up was tougher than you can ever imagine.

“The expectations that came with backing up a big year led to a lot of difficulty. I now talk to him almost every day on the phone. I have a tendency to have high expectations for myself and if I don’t achieve it, that’s when I get pissed off at myself. He tries to bring out a level of calmness and enjoyment, which is when I play my best tennis. For me it has been about dealing with my problems upfront. I’ve tried to bottle up many different emotions. I couldn’t handle it anymore. The best thing that has happened to me was seeing a psychologist. I am just excited to get back to a place that I lost for a while; Happiness.”

Alex de Minaur was speaking to ‘Behind the Racquet’ which was set up by professional player Noah Rubin to help promote various aspects of being a tennis player that maybe the majority of tennis fans aren’t aware of.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.