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Alex de Minaur believes his game meshes well with grass courts.

De Minaur Dishes On Grass Courts, Why He'd Like To Play McEnroe

Australian builds his perfect grass-court player

When the grass arrives, Alex de Minaur flourishes.

The Australian has soared to success on the English lawns in recent years, capturing the title at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne in 2021, before reaching the semi-finals at the ATP 250 event again last week.

Now, the World No. 27 is hoping for a big run at Wimbledon, where he will play home favourite Jack Draper on Thursday in the second round.

“I think the grass swing is an exciting part of the year. It is a part of the season I am always looking forward to,” De Minaur told ATPTour.com. “It is a short one, so you have to be ready for it. Whenever it comes along, it is really exciting.

“It is a surface that complements my game a fair bit. I like trying to dictate on the grass. You get a lot of help from the court, so you can try and dictate a bit more and then I try and use my movement more. I think it complements my game well with these combinations.”

When you watch De Minaur compete, his speed and agility stand out. Last year in Eastbourne, the 23-year-old won a memorable point against Soonwoo Kwon, showcasing his lightning pace as he covered every blade of grass in an all-action rally.

For De Minaur, his grass-court agility is an aspect he has worked on over the years.

“Becoming faster is something I put a lot of work in during the early days,” De Minaur said. “Until I was able to grow into my body, I wasn’t the quickest guy out there. It was a lot of work that we put in and now I just continue to work on my speed. It is a strong part [of my game].

“The movement is also completely different on grass compared to clay. You have to trust yourself with shorter steps. Stay low and in the first couple of days you feel it in your quads and even in your lower back because you are bending down a lot. On clay, everything bounces higher, you have more time. On grass, you have to be shorter and more precise. I have worked on my agility. You want to do as much as you can in those first couple of steps to push out of the corners and I think I can do that well on grass.”

In his opening match at Wimbledon on Tuesday, the 23-year-old demonstrated his flexibility, moving past Hugo Dellien in straight sets. With #NextGenATP Draper next up, the 19th seed is looking to write more historic moments into his grass-court journey that started more than 15 years ago.

“I remember I started playing on grass when I was eight. It was a situation where I said to myself that I would love this surface from the get-go,” De Minaur said. “Mentally, I always loved the grass when growing up, so I have convinced myself I am always going to play well on the grass. I always enjoy this part of the year.”

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Alongside playing, De Minaur has also enjoyed watching his rivals compete on the surface. The Australian, who loves spending time in coffee shops and parks when in England, created his "perfect" grass-court player, while he revealed the former legend he would have liked to have faced on the surface.

“For the serve, I’d go with Nick [Kyrgios]. Forehand would be [Juan Martin] del Potro. Backhand, probably Novak [Djokovic]. Slice, Roger [Federer] and volley I’d go with Stefan [Edberg] to have something different,” De Minaur said.

”I would have loved to play against some of the older generations — like John McEnroe — just to see the contrast in style and see how tennis has evolved and changed,” he added. “To see how that prime era would match up against my generation.”

For De Minaur, he must stay in the present. If he can overcome home favourite Draper, he will match his 2018 run at The Championships. However, with the 20-year-old Briton holding a 31-8 record across all levels this season, the task will be far from straightforward in what could be a thrilling second-round encounter.

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