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Alex de Minaur will make his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals this week.

De Minaur, Always The Best Version Of Himself

19-year-old Aussie has had one of the biggest breakthroughs in recent years

Alex de Minaur has been undoubtedly one of the breakout players of the ATP World Tour these past 11 months. The 19-year-old #NextGenATP Aussie has enjoyed a season that could well be defined as a whirlwind. He started the year being World No. 208 and has improved his position a total of 18 times (!) to reach his best ATP Ranking yet, at No. 31.

His season has not gone unnoticed by anyone, and the Sydney native has been nominated for two awards at the ATP World Tour Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon: ‘Newcomer Of The Year’ and ‘Most Improved Player Of The Year', both categories chosen by his peers. To close a simply brilliant season, De Minaur will try to put the icing on the cake with the Next Gen ATP Finals crown.

Read More: De Minaur Among 2018 Newcomer Of The Year Nominees | Learn More About The Nominees For Most Improved Player Of The Year

ATPWorldTour.com unravels a dream year that began in the best possible way: with a sweet Aussie summer.

There is nothing that can match the feeling of playing at home, more so if your country has a devotion for tennis. De Minaur took that home-court advantage and made a statement run: he reached semi-finals at the Brisbane International, beating former World No. 3 Milos Raonic. One week later, De Minaur reached his first ATP World Tour final at the Sydney International, where he dazzled and was a few points away of the title (l. to Medvedev).

The local effect also served him well in his permanent residence, Alicante (Spain). At the beginning of April, De Minaur (whose mother is Spanish and his dad is Uruguayan) stood in the final of the Ferrero Challenger Open and was stopped by Pablo Andujar. The ATP Challenger Tour served as a springboard for the European summer on grass, where De Minaur reached the final in the Surbiton Trophy and most importantly of all, where he won his first ATP Challenger title at the Nature Valley Open.

In Wimbledon, sacred territory for his mentor Lleyton Hewitt, De Minaur proved that the sky is the limit and reached the third round, where he collided with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. The first half of the season exemplified De Minaur’s frame of mind: every match is taken point by point. And each tournament is of the utmost importance, regardless of the category.

Uncovered: De Minaur, Hewitt

Far from remaining satisfied with what had been achieved so far, De Minaur traveled from Europe to the U.S. looking for more success. And he did not disappoint: At the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., he reached his first ATP World Tour 500 final, where World No. 3 Alexander Zverev won his second consecutive Citi Open title.

At the US Open, where De Minaur reached the third round, ATPWorldTour.com spoke to the man who accompanies the Aussie around the world: His full-time coach Adolfo Gutiérrez.

"Today, being 19 years old, he remains the same as before, nothing has changed," said the Spanish coach. "Winning matches, having fame, people knowing him... But everything is still the same. He is very humble.”

What the coach appreciates the most about De Minaur’s personality is his courage: "He is fearless.”

Gutiérrez finds in Hewitt the perfect complement for De Minaur. "I am very grateful to him because he helps us a lot by training with him, by preparing the matches... with everything. The experience of Lleyton is very good for us,“ said Gutiérrez.

"Mentally, Lleyton makes him believe that he can, when he goes out on the court to play against a higher-ranked opponent, [Lleyton] convinces him that he can win and that suits him. If someone like Lleyton tells you something like this… He really convinces him. And if he says it, there must be a reason to believe it.”

De Minaur arrives in Milan with a positive record of 24-21 and the desire to put a finishing touch to a dream season.