De Minaur to leave claycourt demons behind

·2-min read

Alex de Minaur is looking for greener pastures after completing another underwhelming claycourt swing with a deflating second-round French Open exit.

De Minaur feels he's making progress on the tour's slowest surface - and statistics support that assertion - but the 22-year-old admits it's slow going.

And he's frustrated.

Ranked No.22 in the world, the 2020 US Open quarter-finalist finished the claycourt season with just four wins from four events, including a foray to the second round in Paris for only the second time in five visits.

That's a damn sight better than his one claycourt win last year, and none the year before.

De Minaur, though, is anything but satisfied.

"Look, I mean I'm not going to sit here and say that winning three matches in the claycourt season is much of a breakthrough," he said after succumbing 6-4 6-1 3-6 6-1 to Marco Cecchinato.

It was the second straight year he'd lost to the Italian, a former semi-finalist but a veteran ranked a lowly 83rd in the world.

"Obviously, I'm sure my psychologist will want me to see the positives of everything and say, 'hey, it's a lot better than previous years' but it's not at the level I think I can show on the clay," said de Minaur, a relative physical lightweight who struggles to overpower his rivals on the dirt.

"Obviously it's going to be my toughest surface, but I still believe that I can play better than I have and have better results.

"The positives are that I won more matches than in any other year on the clay and I guess what's also positive is that I've still got a lot to improve."

De Minaur's next scheduled event is Stuttgart but he may pull out as he plays a balancing act trying to make the adjustment from clay to grass.

Wimbledon is his next big goal but the Australian No.1 knows he has to be careful making the transition to a completely different style of tennis.

"I've got to weigh up whether the risk factor for the body is too much or not. In an ideal world, and if my body can hold up, then I can have an extra week on grass," de Minaur said.

"Rhythm-wise, my game style suits the grass, so that never seems to be a problem.

"You've got to adjust to low bounce. Doesn't matter who you are, first couple days you're going to pull up pretty sore - legs, naturally being lower on the ground, and the back a little bit.

"Stuttgart's always part of the schedule - the more I can play on grass, the more I can hopefully have some good results - it's one to debate, one to talk to the team about."

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