Alex de Minaur on a mission this summer, says Lleyton Hewitt


“He’s eager. He’s a young kid in a hurry. He wants to keep getting better and better. He’s No.18 in the world, so he will have a fairly high seeding in the Australian Open as well,” Hewitt said.

“It’s a massive buzz for him to come in and play in these big events.”

Hewitt embraces de Minaur during the recent Davis Cup teams event in Spain.Credit:Getty Images Europe

Hewitt has been a critic of the revamped Davis Cup format, which he says has essentially borrowed the same format as the ATP Cup. That being the case, he said the notion of a home ATP Cup final might become the next generation’s Davis Cup final and key aim at the start of summer.

“It’s just great that this is in our country. I think that’s the biggest positive for us. I know how much Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios would love to play in a home Davis Cup final but that can’t happen now. To play in the ATP Cup, unbelievable prizemoney and the ranking points as well, in their home country, that’s very important.

“For these boys, to play in Australia, that’s something you can’t buy. They watched my era play in a few Davis Cup finals and they always dreamt of that. And that’s why we were against the changes of the Davis Cup. But for these guys now to play at home, that’s incredible.”

Loading

Pat Rafter Arena shapes as a plus for the Australians, with all three of the singles prospects loving the surface and the venue. They will take any advantage they can given the Group F opposition, which includes young stars Alex Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“We’ve got a bloody tough group in Brisbane. On paper, it’s the toughest. But I have confidence in our boys. Nick and Alex, John Millman there to back them up… it’s going to be tough. There are big matches and they have to back up but they are up to the challenge.

“It was pot luck we landed in the Brisbane group and the boys were over the moon with that. They think it’s great preparation for the Australian summer. They love playing on Pat Rafter Arena, the conditions and court surface really help our boys.”

Kyrgios has struggled with a collarbone injury but Hewitt was hopeful it would hold up over the summer, which he hopes involves bulk matches for the world No.30.

“It (collarbone injury) has happened a couple of times now, so it is a little bit of a concern leading into an Australian summer where hopefully he is going to be playing a lot of matches,” Hewitt said.

“The shoulder and collarbone area are obviously such a big part of his game, to be able to serve at the power that he does is a real weapon for him. He just has to do all the right things now. He is doing rehab and recovery and he is back on the courts now.

“I am still really confident that he can go out and back Alex de Minaur up.”

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Sports

Related posts

Make a comment