Alex De Minaur Emerges As Australian Open’s Dark Horse After Shattering 20-Year Record

Alex de Minaur has staked his claim in this year's Australian Open tournament days before it's even started, after three consecutive victories puts the Australian ace in the Top 10 for the first time in his career.

Alex De Minaur Emerges As Australian Open’s Dark Horse After Shattering 20-Year Record

Image: Getty

Australian tennis ace Alex de Minaur has claimed three huge victories in the space of just five days, downing three of the best tennis stars in the world ahead of this year’s coveted Australian Open tournament in Melbourne… and breaking a nearly 20-year record in the process.

We’re only a week into 2024 but the ATP tennis calendar is already in full swing ahead of this year’s historic Australian Open tournament held in Melbourne.

Players from all over the world have been arriving in anticipation of this month’s event, which, for the first time, will start on the earlier date on 14 January to accommodate lengthier breaks in play and hopefully even out an already congested schedule.

Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic landed Down Under just before the turn of the new year and was keeping his millions of avid fans entertained with a viral fitness challenge before the attention turned to the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

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Image: Getty

Whilst all the talk was, as expected, about the returning Djokovic looking to add a record-breaking 11th Australian Open title, it was Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur who was making the headlines. In the space of just five short days, de Minaur collected three huge victories in the United Cup against some of the best players in the world… including the World No. 1.

Alex de Minaur’s first victory came against World No. 10, Taylor Fritz, in the United Cup. The young Australian was on fire, breaking the American’s serve early on to take the first set in just 40 minutes, leaving Fritz without an answer as de Minaur sliced through his game with relative ease.

But it was days later, under the lights in Perth, where the 24-year-old would stake his claim in this tournament, handing Novak Djokovic his first defeat in six years to end a mind-blowing run that extended to 43 consecutive games played in Australia.

It was the first time that de Minaur had beaten the Australian Open champion in his career; the Serbian travelled to Australia looking to further cement his legacy as the most decorated player in AO history, but the young Australian star’s performance was emphatic, defying the pre-match predictions with each formidable return to beat Djokovic in straight sets.

“It’s extremely special,” Alex de Minaur revealed after the match. “Novak’s an unbelievable competitor and what he’s done for the sport is pretty special. It feels surreal, it feels amazing and I’m happy to do it here in Perth and in Australia.”

Later, de Minaur would claim another victory in his final AO preparations, downing the German World No. 7, Alexander Zverev to break into the Top 10 for the first time in his career.

“He played amazing,” Zverev said. “He beat Novak in straight sets a few days ago. He beat me today. He’s in very good form, and he’s very dangerous at the moment.”

It’s the first time an Australian has been seeded in the Top 10 on the ATP World Rankings since Lleyton Hewitt vacated the 5th spot in 2006, breaking a nearly 20-year record to put his country firmly on the map.

The Sydneysider – now based in Spain – has established himself as one to watch and could undoubtedly be one of the dark horses for the AO in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.