04:59 PM GMT November 13, 2018
Alex de Minaur got a first taste of centre stage at the Nitto ATP Finals, honoured on court Tuesday at The O2 as the Newcomer of the Year in the 2018 ATP World Tour Awards Presented By Moët & Chandon.
“This is incredible,” he said. “Definitely gives you a lot of hunger to be able to try to make it here. This is definitely one of my goals and I’ll do everything in my power to one day hopefully get here.”
From outside the Top 200 to open the year, the 19-year-old Australian soared to a career-high No. 31 in 2018 – one of just two teenagers in the year-end Top 100 in ATP Rankings. He finished his breakthrough season last week at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, where he finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year.
“It’s been an incredible season, starting in Australia, playing in front of the home crowd, and I’ve just been able to enjoy every second even until last week in Milan,” said de Minaur. “It’s been a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to next year.”
De Minaur began his 2018 campaign with a first tour-level semi-final in Brisbane and final in Sydney. He would carry the momentum to the ATP Challenger Tour, where he captured his maiden title in Nottingham in June. He reached his biggest final at the Citi Open, an ATP World Tour 500 event in Washington DC, and earned third-round finishes at Wimbledon and the US Open.
The Newcomer of the Year, as voted by players, is the #NextGenATP star who entered the Top 100 for the first time in 2018 (ATP Ranking as of 15 October) and made the biggest impact on the ATP World Tour this season.