Sports

Lleyton Hewitt backs rising star Alex de Minaur to perform on big stage


Less than 48 hours after winning the Sydney International with two matches in one day, 27th seed de Minaur will begin his grand slam campaign on Monday against Portugal's 103rd-ranked Pedro Sousa.


De Minaur has cast aside the frustration of being scheduled on Monday rather than Tuesday following his weather-affected workload in Sydney, and a gruelling pre-season Davis Cup captain Hewitt put him through has prepared him well for the rigours of his home major.


Team Captain Lleyton Hewitt (L) talks tactics with Alex de Minaur in a 2018 Davis Cup match.


De Minaur is drawn for a likely third-round clash against Rafael Nadal, the Spanish all-time great who gave him a lesson at the same stage of Wimbledon last year.


With the temperature forecast to soar well into the 30s in Melbourne on Monday, de Minaur's off-season toil should serve him well even if he is backing up from an exhausting conclusion to the event in Sydney.


Alex de Minaur(L) poses with former Australian tennis great Ken Rosewall after winning the 2019 Sydney International title.






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