Alex De Minaur’s new fitness regime in spotlight after Australian Open heartbreak

Rising star Alex de Minaur is searching for answers after he was forced to withdraw from next week’s Australian Open due to an abdominal injury.

The 20-year-old suffered the injury against Canadian young gun Denis Shapovalov in a three-hour encounter at the ATP Cup on January 5, amid a chaotic start to his 2020 campaign where he played five intense matches in nine days.

The world No. 21 faced British No. 1 Daniel Evans four days after his meeting with Shapovalov, before playing a doubles match with Nick Kyrgios and then facing Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal – both matches went to three sets.

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Alex de Minaur stumbles during the ATP Cup.

Alex de Minaur stumbles during the ATP Cup.Source: AAP

Some have questioned the management of de Minaur’s workload ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year. can reveal the Sydneysider has changed fitness coaches in recent times, despite reaping the rewards of a comprehensive off-season ahead of last year’s Australian summer under the guidance of former Melbourne midfielder Tom Couch, who is now training American star Danielle Collins.

It is understood that de Minaur is now working with a Spanish high performance coach.

“We are definitely looking at what happened and what needs to improve,” de Minaur told on Friday.

“It is, obviously, not easy, but it’s what happens. We’ve got to improve on that and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Rafael Nadal looks at Alex de Minaur during the ATP Cup.

Rafael Nadal looks at Alex de Minaur during the ATP Cup.Source: AFP

de Minaur’s decision to pull out from the Australian Open rocked the tennis fraternity on Thursday afternoon.

The dual Australian and Spanish citizen said he agonised over the decision – even contemplating serving underarm – but wasn’t prepared to put his long-term health at risk to play injured at Melbourne Park.

“It is not fun, that’s for sure. It has been a tough couple of days, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. It is part of the sport. now I’ve got to look at the future; I can’t dwell on the past; I need to focus on my recovery,” he said.

“I thought of every single way I could come out and step on court, even if it meant serving underarm or serving at 50 per cent. But the risks were far too great.

“I was very close to getting a grade three tear, which would then involve stitches and way more recovery time and potentially haunt me for the rest of my career. I had to look at the bigger picture. It was the right decision.”

Alex de Minaur reaches for a shot during the ATP Cup in Sydney.

Alex de Minaur reaches for a shot during the ATP Cup in Sydney.Source: AP

World No. 10 Gael Monfils, who has endured more than his fair share of injuries during his 16 years on the ATP Tour, believes de Minaur made a wise choice.

“I think you can end up being very impatient, especially when it is your own home Grand Slam you try to make it,” Monfils told from an event launching Asics newest tennis shoe.

“I think he is being very smart. He is very young and is an unbelievable talent, but he has plenty of time, you know?

“Hopefully he can have a speedy recovery because he was playing very good last year. It is bad luck for him.”

Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt speaks to Alex de Minaur at the ATP Cup.

Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt speaks to Alex de Minaur at the ATP Cup.Source: AAP

US Open champion Sam Stosur was driving through Melbourne on Thursday when she heard the news that left many Australians disappointed, especially the No. 1 ranked male in the country.

“I can only imagine how disappointed he is having to withdrawal,” Stosur said.

“I’ve only missed one Aussie Open in my career and hopefully this is the only one he has to miss.

“When you can’t be a part of your home Grand Slam – or any Grand Slam – it is a gutted feeling. Credit to him for turning up today and putting on a smile. I’m sure he is hurting, I’m really disappointed for him.”

de Minaur expects to return to action within four weeks and is setting his sights on making deep runs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July and August.


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