Humble ace well on way to stardom
HE'S the unassuming Aussie teenager who has revived this year's Brisbane International.
But despite his new-found fame Alex de Minaur remains a humble kid who just wants to try even harder in his next match - an attitude which has unfortunately been lacking in our rising men's tennis stars.
The 18-year-old almost did not play in this tournament, only scoring a wildcard after world No.1 Rafael Nadal withdraw because of injury.
He now stands on the verge of the semi-finals if he beats fellow teenager Michael Mmoh of the US today.
Australia's newest star, who received a standing ovation after a stunning victory over No.4 seed Milos Raonic on Wednesday night, is taking it all in his stride.
"I just want to keep on playing the tennis I am," de Minaur said of his plans, which include the Australian Open after he won a wildcard playoff.
"The support is unbelievable so I'm sure they'll be behind me and supporting me every match. I appreciate that."
Nicknamed "Demon", de Minaur has impressed many with his performances.
Australian Davis Cup coach Jason Stoltenberg described de Minaur as a "lovely fella" who deserved his success and gave "everything all the time".
Raonic said: "He does a lot of things well, stays close."
Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, who has become a mentor to de Minaur, said on Channel 7: "To go out there against former world No. 3 Milos Raonic and really take it to him from the start, he wasn't intimidated out there. It was impressive how he handled the situation."
Fellow Australian player Daria Gavrilova urged de Minaur to "keep it rolling" on Twitter, where surfing star Sally Fitzgibbons wrote: "big efforts from our Aussie #DeMinaur against @milosraonic".
De Minaur began playing tennis aged four and has been highly regarded by Tennis Australia insiders for some time. He speaks English, Spanish and French but sports a distinctly Australian accent despite living in Spain between the ages of five and 13 and again for the past three years with his Uruguayan father, Spanish mother and three younger siblings. The rest of his time has been spent in Sydney, where he was born.
If he continues his trajectory, his travel schedule may become more hectic.