He’s been anything but boring this summer but Alex de Minaur is happy if that’s how he’s perceived by Australian tennis fans.
The 19-year-old’s stunning summer came to a halt in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday night at the hands of world No. 2 Spanish powerhouse Rafael Nadal.
Playing his first ever match on Rod Laver Arena, De Minaur was outclassed by the 17-time grand slam champion 6-1 6-2 6-4.
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The loss was his first in seven matches after winning his first ATP title at the Sydney International.
While countrymen Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios continue to capture plenty of headlines for all the wrong reasons de Minaur said he preferred to let his tennis do the talking.
“At the end of the day, this is me — this is what you get from me,” the 19-year- old said.
“There’s a lot of stuff that happens off court, but I think at the end of the day what I really want is to be that boring guy that lets his tennis do the talking, you know?
“I want everyone to know that I’m that kid that’s going to leave it all out there, fight till the end, and just continuously want to improve.
“If I’m that boring guy in the media, then I’m doing something right.”
The Australian No. 1’s fighting spirit through the summer earned plenty of new fans.
Even when down and out against Nadal, trailing him 0-40 and 4-5, de Minaur wouldn’t surrender, saving five match points.
“I wish I could play like that the whole match,” de Minaur said.
“I just have it in my head to fight till the end, fight every point. “I had to fight and fight and try to give myself that opportunity, but it just didn’t come.” The world No. 29’s next mission is to lead Australia’s Davis Cup charge in Adelaide next month against Bosnia and Herzevogina.
The build-up has been tainted this week with a nasty spat between captain Lleyton Hewitt and Tomic.
But De Minaur said it was the perfect way to cap a memorable summer.
“There’s nothing better or there’s no greater honour than representing your country,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to going out there with all the fellas and just keep pushing each other.
“It’s probably the weeks that I enjoy most out of the whole year.”