#NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur is returning to action in Estoril this week for the first time since the BNP Paribas Open due to a hip injury. While competing at the Millennium Estoril Open might seem a long way from home, it isn’t for the 20-year-old.
“I was born in Australia, in Sydney. When I was five, the whole family, we moved over to Spain for eight years, grew up there, started going to school there,” De Minaur said in his ATP My Story delivered by FedEx. “Because of the financial crisis, we all had to move back to Australia as a family. We spent three years there where Australia just helped me out massively. I was able to pursue my dream of playing tennis and we ended up moving back to Spain with all the help of Tennis Australia.”
Spain and Portugal are neighbours, so De Minaur is plenty familiar with the country, and he reached the second round in Estoril last year. This year’s Sydney champion has also been coached by Spaniard Adolfo Gutierrez since he was nine.
“I’ve had the honour to be in both places and to sort of try and absorb the best things of the two countries. It’s different cultures and different ways of living,” De Minaur said. “I sort of like the contrast of the more relaxed Spanish lifestyle and then the hardworking and on-the-ball Australian life. It’s really helped me become the player and the person I am right now.”
De Minaur was 111th in the ATP Rankings this time last year, but he has quickly ascended since. The Australian No. 1, easygoing off the court but as competitive as they come on it, will try to lift his second ATP Tour trophy this week on the Portuguese red clay.
“At the end of the day I’ve probably spent half of my life in each country,” De Minaur said. “But in my heart I’ll always be Australian.”