Tennis power couple Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter are set to face off with each other at next year's United Cup with Aussie great Wally Masur couldn't help but joke their high-profile relationship will come to an 'end' for a brief time. De Minaur has been in brilliant hard-court form in 2023 having reached a career-high ranking of World No.11.
The Aussie is in the race to reach the top eight for the 'Race to Turin' and will most likely enter the Australian Open next year as a seeded player. And Aussie tennis great Masur believes the United Cup is the right build-up for De Minaur before heading into the grand slam.
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Australia have drawn the UK and the US in their group and the tournament, which will be held in Sydney and Perth, will see one men's and one women's match in each tie.
Then a mixed doubles match is played as the potential decider. This could leave de Minaur facing Boulter -who is the head of the UK team - during the doubles in Perth.
And Masur joked that the relationship might need to be put on hold as the two old enemies attempt to reign supreme in the new national tournament.
“It could be the end of a beautiful relationship,” Masur said as a joke after the draw was announced in Sydney. “It will be interesting how it plays out because Matt Ebden and Storm Hunter are there so we have plenty of options for the mixed doubles.
“Alex might be in a situation where he plays three sets against Cam Norrie and maybe it’s not in his best interests to back up and play the mixed. Alex playing Boulter would add a bit of spice.”
Boulter and de Minaur have been dating since 2020. This year, while Boulter didn't qualify for the Australian Open, she visited and was seen supporting de Minaur in the stands.
Alex de Minaur takes crack at Katie Boulter
De Minaur also took to social media from Switzerland, where he is set to face Diego Schwartzman in the Swiss Indoors event, to joke that him and Boulter will become 'enemies' during the tournament. Boulter joked back: "Well this is going to end well".
De Minaur's group now means he will most likely play American Taylor Fritz and UK's top ranked player Cameron Norrie before the Austrlian Open. De Minaur has been looking to reach a quarter-final in recent years at his home grand slam.
And after defeating World No.3 and grand slam winner Daniil Medvedev in Canada this year, Masur believes de Minaur is reaching new heights in his prime.
“That win helped him a lot because he was very good at beating the people he should beat but he was struggling to beat the very best,’’ Masur said. “That win gave him the belief that he could do it.
“The big thing is that he’s marrying up his personality, which is to be pretty aggressive with his physique, which is probably to be a counter-puncher where he uses his opponent’s pace. He’s coming in to his best years now. Will he do better than the fourth round at the Australian Open? He absolutely will."
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