De Minaur fighting to be fit for Open

AUSTRALIAN No.1 Alex de Minaur will fly to Melbourne on Wednesday with his preparation for next week's Australian Open still uncertain following an abdominal injury picked up during last week's ATP Cup.

"I started to feel something from the second match of the ATP Cup, against (Denis) Shapovalov. I just thought it was general tightness and you just play through it," he said on Tuesday.

"When you are playing for your country you don't worry about those things as much, you try and push your body to the limits and that's what happened."

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De Minaur will rest for a couple of days when he lands in Melbourne before talking to his medical team.

"It's something that overnight is not going to get better, but we are going to do everything we can to get in the best possible shape for Melbourne.

"I'll head over there and start seeing all the physios and doctors and see what we can do."

Despite a full nine days play in the ATP Cup, the margins between training and the need to put his feet are minimal, he said

"I can hit fine at the moment, the only thing that bothers is my serving. Apart from that, I am good to go."

Alex de Minaur announcing his withdrawal from the Adelaide International. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Alex de Minaur announcing his withdrawal from the Adelaide International. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The 20-year-old confirmed he had been desperate to play at the Adelaide International and said the city has a special place in his affections after he won his first Davis Cup match here against Bosnia and Herzegovina almost 12 months ago.

Pulling out was a decision based on treating his injury and recovering in time to play the Australian Open.

"Yesterday was a bit shattering, but today I am in a way better mood and hopeful to see what happens this week and be ready to play Monday or Tuesday.

"We are going to do everything in our power and hopefully come Monday next week I am ready to go for five hours again," he said in reference to his narrow, and epic, defeat against world number 1 Rafael Nadal on Saturday night in Sydney.

Almost a year after he lost to Nadal at the Australian Open (winning just seven games in a three set loss) his game has come on immensely, he said.

"I loved the atmosphere and was ready to take it to him," de Minaur added.

"I could have jagged a couple of points, but then lost momentum.

"I was feeling it (the injury) before the match but it came to a point where he changed his tactics and I over pressed a bit more than I had to, that's when a couple of my errors occurred.

"At the end of the day he is Rafa, he was too good.

"A lot of people didn't think I had the weapons to take it to the top guys, (so) this does give me a lot of belief I can take it to top guys.

"It's about having that mindset every time I get on court, just believing."

The toll taken by the inaugural ATP Cup was not just physical, he said.

"It's safe to say that after a couple of those matches I probably crashed about 7pm, it is a lot but that's what happens when you pay for your country, there's additional nerves and tightness, you are not playing for yourself," de Minaur added.

"But that's the beauty of it as well, everyone is going to leave it all out there on the court.

"We had an amazing team, if we can just keep it going, I really like where Team Australia is heading."

News Corp Australia


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