Australia’s Alex de Minaur has provided some honest feedback following a ‘disappointing’ straight-sets loss to Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-1 6-2 at the Australian Open on Monday night.
Under the microscope of the big stage at Rod Laver Arena, de Minaur failed to rise to the occasion against the 21-time Grand Slam winner and was quite frank in his post-game press conference.
— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) January 23, 2023
The 23-year-old added that the ‘old cliché’ of performing well but not good enough will be something that he doesn’t want to experience again, hoping to improve on his fourth round exit in future tournaments.
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“I’m happy with the summer I’ve had, but really I want to do better than fourth round at a slam,” de Minaur said.
“It’s great, I’m happy, but I’m not content. I want more. I want to be in quarterfinals, be in the semifinals, really go deep. I want to take the next step. That’s what I want to do.”
De Minaur admitted that the Djokovic he played against on Monday night was at the top of his game, putting doubt to any injury murmurs he had in the lead up to the match.
“I think what I experienced today was probably Novak very close to his best, I would say. To me, if that’s the level, I think he’s definitely the guy that’s going to take the title,” the Australian said.
“It just felt like constant pressure today. Every service game I had, wasn’t getting free points. It felt like an uphill battle from the start. Never really was able to get my teeth into the match, make it tough for him, or bring the pressure moments and situations.”
In what was difficult for fans to watch, de Minaur was unable to apply any sort of pressure on his opponent, providing himself no break point opportunities throughout the evening.
Further stats also highlighted the sheer dominance displayed by Djokovic, with a total of 91 points won to 59.
The Serb had an answer for everything de Minaur would throw at him, unfortunately ending his magnificent run of late.
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However, the youngster tried to remain positive despite the thrashing and will seek learnings from the opening weeks of the 2023 tennis year.
“I had a great match against Mannarino. That was a positive,” de Minaur said.
“Made the second week of a slam again. That’s another positive. Yeah, over the Aussie summer I got a win over Rafa, which is pretty positive.”
Djokovic’s victory over de Minaur completes the round four matches, with the men’s and women’s draws entering the quarter finals.
The 35-year-old is coming up against fifth seed Andrey Rublev on Wednesday for a spot in the semis.