Antalya Champion De Minaur Looks Ahead After 'Dark Times' In 2020
Hard work in off season reaps dividends in Antalya
“I feel I’ve improved everything,” admitted the Australian on Wednesday, after his final victory over Alexander Bublik. “I’ve worked on the body and mind to take it to the top guys, which is my goal. Being able to push them and getting stronger is my goal. I don’t want to have a good result every now and then. I want good results every week. I may lose to the top guys, because they are too good, but I don't want to have any bad losses.”
The 21-year-old will fly to Australia from Dubai on Thursday after securing his first tour-level title since 29 September 2019 at the Zhuhai Championships (d. Mannarino).
“It’s now more about fine tuning,” he said, looking ahead to the Australian summer swing. “All of the tweaking and preparation came in the pre-season. I will look back on this week and see what I can improve on, so to play my best tennis at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open.”
De Minaur reached his first Grand Slam championship quarter-final at the US Open (l. to Thiem) last year, but admitted 2020 was a difficult year for him.
“2020 was a tough year. I got my best result at a Slam, but it was still a dark time and mentally I did not feel great,” said De Minaur. “I put in a few matches together, and had my best result [in New York], so it was something to be proud of. But 2020, as a whole, I had a lot of expectations and it’s fed the hunger to make 2021 better.
“I knew I’d put in a great pre-season, I felt good and ready to compete. I gave myself the best possible chance to go deep in this tournament. I have got matches at the start of the year. I am very happy with my level. I got some quality wins and now I’m looking forward to returning to Australia, where I hope to have a good Aussie summer in front of a home crowd.”
De Minaur, who represented Australia in last year’s inaugural ATP Cup, now has a 4-4 record in ATP Tour finals.