De Minaur hopes to keep riding the wave in Melbourne
Teenage sensation Alex de Minaur hopes he can cause an upset against Tomas Berdych in his Australian Open first-round clash.
Alex de Minaur hopes to maintain his impressive 2018 form and keep riding the wave at the Australian Open against Tomas Berdych.
The teenager has established himself as Australia's next hot prospect after impressive displays at the grand slam warm-up events in Brisbane and Sydney.
De Minaur reached the semi-finals at the Brisbane International before going one better in New South Wales, making Sunday's final after wins over Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, Damir Dzumhur and Benoit Paire.
His dreams of emulating Lleyton Hewitt by winning the Sydney International aged 18 were extinguished by Daniil Medvedev, but De Minaur had already captured the attention of the Australian public.
A tough draw against two-time Melbourne Park semi-finalist Berdych awaits him in the first round, but the teenager is remaining confident.
"I'm looking forward to what's to come," De Minaur told a media conference.
"It [being in the spotlight] is strange. I guess when you're a little kid, that's something you aspire to get to. It's crazy that it's happening now.
"But it's the same old me. Nothing's going to change. I'm still going to get out there on court and leave it all out there, give it my best.
"I'm really happy with where my level's at at the moment. I'm just trying to continue to ride this wave.
The man of the moment, @alexdeminaur, on his dream week in Sydney:— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 14, 2018
"It was crazy. Growing up on those courts, watching as a spectator, and playing in the final there was an incredible experience. A week I’ll never forget"#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/52wnVYNINb
"Against Tomas, it's going to be a very tough match. Then again, I can't wait to get out there. It's going to be fun. Hopefully it's a real good battle.
"I just want to have a good match against Berdych. I want to leave it all out there, compete [for] every point, give myself the best opportunity I can to play well. I think that's the only thing I can ask from myself. It's going to be fun. I can't wait."
De Minaur has the support of Davis Cup captain Hewitt as he prepares for one of the biggest matches of his career, and he is learning a lot from his mentor.
He added: "He's been a help for a long time. He just gives me advice on how to deal with different types of situations, expectations, pressures, because he's actually been through every single type of scenario you can think of on a court.
"So I just listen to what he has to say [and] try to do it on court."