Alex de Minaur has secured his place in the fourth round of the Australian Open for the third consecutive year, and while he’s showcasing a skillset on the court that recently helped catapult him into the ATP top 10, he’s also eyeing a coveted return to Rod Laver Arena.
De Minaur triumphed in his first two matches on the main feature court, before facing Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli in the third round on John Cain Arena. Despite the change in venue, the 24-year-old emerged victorious and relished the more raucous atmosphere.
“The atmosphere over here is something else. I enjoyed every second of it, but it is a little bit different to RLA and it took a little bit to get used to,” he said.
“Ultimately it doesn’t really matter when I play; whether I play first match, whether I play last. Whether I play on RLA or Court 27, I’m still going to be the same. I’m still going to walk out there and enjoy it and give it 150%.”
However, the Aussie star couldn’t hide his desire to return to the prestigious Rod Laver Arena, saying: “I would love to play on RLA. Obviously that prime time slot is pretty special, and you’ve got to earn it. If the organizers decide to put me there, then I’ll be happy to play on it.”
The challenge for de Minaur lies in the fact he shares the same side of the draw as world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who consistently claims the prime time slot on RLA. Both players will be scheduled to play their fourth-round matches on Sunday and, like Friday night, it could mean only one of them can grace the iconic court.
De Minaur isn’t satisfied with becoming the first Aussie man in almost two decades to make the second week of his home Slam in three successive years.
Now he’s looking to carve out his own slice of history.
The top-ranked Aussie was in a different league to Cobolli, living up to his top-10 billing in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory.
De Minaur was watched in the stands by former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt, his Davis Cup captain and idol who completed the round-of-16 hat-trick back in 2005.
That year, Hewitt charged all the way to the final — and de Minaur’s hot run has raised hopes he can follow suit.
When asked how he felt…