Alex de Minaur, the bright eyed future star on the men’s tennis tour, will take to centre court tomorrow afternoon in search of just his second ever Masters 1000 quarterfinal appearance. In early August de Minaur, for the first time in his career, progressed to the quarterfinal of a Masters 1000 tournament- making the final in Canada. His opponent, however, is none other than a player who has a 5-0 head to head record against him.
A win here could propel de Minaur into uncharted territory, allowing him to exorcise the demons of Sinner in a high-stakes environment. In conjunction, every win for de Minaur here on in bolsters his chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals. Currently just 15 points shy of Tommy Paul (with Paul losing in the round of 32 in Paris), de Minaur has as big a chance as any to secure an alternate spot or outright qualify for this year’s ATP Finals. Given that Taylor Fritz is injured (and withdrew from the Masters event this week), and Casper Ruud has had his points drop off- missing the ATP Finals in 2023 would be a squandered opportunity for de Minaur.
Despite the trajectory his career has taken, there most definitely seems to be a case to be made that slow hard courts are the courts most suited for Alex de Minaur’s game. In his career so far already, he has made the final of the Washington (500), a grand slam quarter-final at the US Open (2020), as well as won 2 titles in Atlanta. In a topsy-turvy 2023, it’s easy to also forget that this year, de Minaur achieved some of the greatest wins of his young career, beating then world number 2 Rafael Nadal in three sets at the United Cup in January. A month or so later, de Minaur then claimed the biggest title of his career, winning the Mexican Open 500 level tour event. De Minaur then experienced a mixed bag of results- but brought his season back to life making the final of Queens 500, losing to eventual champion and Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz.
However, the last 2 months have been nothing short of a dream run for de Minaur. He made his first ever Masters 1000 final in August (Montreal) and reached a career high ranking of world number 11 on October 2nd. Already very close to his career high of ranking- a deep run this week could see de Minaur break into the top 10 for the first time ever. This year de Minaur also has the wins to back himself- and managed to beat Rublev in straight sets in Rotterdam, as well as 2 wins against Rune and back to back wins against Fritz and Medvedev in Toronto. The latter, in fact, was a straight sets victory over the world number 4 Russian.
All in all, do you think Alex de Minaur can break the top 10 this week?