Alex de Minaur’s 18-year first as Australian Open seedings revealed

Alex de Minaur will officially be the first Aussie man seeded in the top 10 at an Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2006.

De Minaur finally cracked what had been an elusive milestone for the first time after the United Cup where he claimed the top 10 scalps of US star Taylor Fritz, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Germany’s Alexander Zverev as he led Australia to the semi-finals of the tournament.

De Minaur was also chasing a fourth major scalp in a charity exhibition match against World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz — taking the first set 6-4 despite losing his opening service game.

While Australian women have tasted more success in recent years, particularly thanks to Ash Barty, it’s been somewhat of a consistency drought in the men’s ranks as de Minaur became the first man since Hewitt in 2006 to crack the top 10.

In fact, the last grand slam with an Aussie man seeded in the top 10 of the singles was Hewitt at Wimbledon in 2006.

Since then, only Nick Kyrgios is the only Australian male singles player to make a grand slam final, where he was defeated by Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2022.

While there’s little difference in the advantage whether he’s ranked 10th, ninth or 12th, the result means that de Minaur will not come up against another seeded player until at least the third round — assuming he makes it that far — while he won’t meet anyone ranked above him until at least the fourth round.

But de Minaur has proven he’s not scared of the big players, particularly after claiming the scalp of Djokovic for the first time

After defeating Zverev and confirming his place in the world’s top 10 ranked players, de Minaur told Nine’s Jim Courier: “It’s what I worked so hard for.

“It’s another milestone, but it doesn’t finish there. Job’s not done. We keep on improving. We keep on trying to get better, and I’m going to enjoy this Aussie summer, that’s for sure.”

It’s the type of fighting words Aussies like to hear from our stars and grand slam champions are standing up and paying attention.

Three-time grand slam winner Stanislas Wawrinka said the 24-year-old has what it takes to lift a trophy.

“He’s a really nice guy, we’ve been practicing a lot together the last few years,’’ Wawrinka said.

“He’s a super nice guy and amazing champion and I’m super happy for him he’s been in top 10 for first time. His home grand slam, it will be special for him that’s for sure, and hopefully he can keep pushing his limit and going higher.

“Of course there’s the potential (to win a grand slam). He’s really young and he has plenty of time to keep pushing.”

Could it be the Australian Open that he finally breaks through?

If he did, it would end an epic drought.

The last Aussie man to play in the Australian Open final was Hewitt in 2005, before he lost in four sets to Marat Safin.

The last Aussie man to win was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

Two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter also backed de Minaur to go to new heights now he’s cracked the top 10.

“The match he played against Zverev, I thought, hang on, this kid’s starting to really get it,” Rafter said.

“To beat Zverev when he’s at his top and now he’s top 10. To only reach one quarter by now, that surprises me.

“I thought he would have done better than that and I think that starts now; semis and finals, definitely.”

Men’s seeds for Australian Open

1) Novak Djokovic (SRB), 2) Carlos Alcaraz (ESP), 3) Daniil Medvedev, 4) Jannik Sinner (ITA), 5) Andrey Rublev, 6) Alexander Zverev (GER), 7) Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE), 8) Holger Rune (DEN), 9) Hubert Hurkacz (POL), 10) Alex de Minaur (AUS), 11) Casper Ruud (NOR), 12) Taylor Fritz (USA), 13) Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), 14) Tommy Paul (USA), 15) Karen Khachanov, 16) Ben Shelton (USA), 17) Frances Tiafoe (USA), 18) Nicholas Jarry (CHI), 19) Cameron Norrie (GBR), 20) Adrian Mannarino (FRA), 21) Ugo Humbert (FRA), 22) Francisco Cerundolo (ARG), 23) Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP), 24) Jan-Lennard Struff (GER), 25) Lorenzo Musetti (ITA), 26) Sebastian Baez (ARG), 27) Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN), 28) Tallon Griekspoor (NED), 29) Sebastian Korda (USA), 30) Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG), 31) Alexander Bublik (KAZ), 32) Jiri Lehecka (CZE)

Leave a Comment