Alex de Minaur’s bittersweet maiden US Open quarter-final

It’s his first ever grand slam quarter-final, but Alex de Minaur’s family will have to watch his US Open clash against Dominic Thiem on television in Spain.

If it were any other year, the de Minaurs would fly to New York to cheer on the world no. 23.

But in 2020, due to COVID-19, only athletes, their limited entourages and US Open staff are allowed inside tournament grounds.

So this year, Dani de Minaur must watch his older brother make history from 6114 kilometres away, at his family home in Alicante, Spain.

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Alex de Minaur’s family will be forced to watch his maiden grand slam quarter-final from Spain. Picture: Matthew Stockman/GettySource:Getty Images

“Last year, I went to watch Alex in the US Open when he made it to the fourth round, it’s obviously a bit frustrating to not be there with him, but I understand the necessary precautions to keep it a safe environment,” Dani de Minaur said.

“It’s really exciting to see all these new players getting the chance to make it that high up into the grand slams, it’s even more exciting for one of them to be my brother.”

To Australia, “The Demon” is the future of tennis – at 21, he’s the country’s No.1 men’s player who never throws in the towel.

A family of Demons. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

But to siblings Dani, Cristina and Sara, he’ll always Alex, the cheeky older brother who was simply unbeatable at chess.

Growing up in both Sydney and Alicante, de Minaur remembers spending many afternoons with his brother at the family’s Italian restaurant, Giovanni’s on George Street.

“Dad owned it and my Mum was a waiter, a lot of times after school we would go there and we had our table, we used to do homework on it, the pizza cooks would teach us how to make pizza,” de Minaur said.

“We’re really close, it’s a different kind of relationship because as a kid he was always travelling everywhere, so not much time with him, but we have a great relationship,” de Minaur said.

“Whenever he’s here, we watch Formula One races together … Sara always stays up late to watch his matches, doesn’t matter what time.”
The Demon is currently in New York with just his coach and fitness trainer.

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He is fighting to become the first Australian man to win the US Open since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2001.

De Minaur said he is proud of his brother’s fight through the uncertain year and is backing in Friday’s quarterfinal against world No.3 Thiem from Austria.

“It’s a pretty difficult match, but I’m sure Alex will give it his all, like always. He’s always one to make anyone he goes against work hard for their points” de Minaur said.

Mini Demon. Picture: Alex de Minaur/InstagramSource:Supplied

Originally published asHidden agony of Demon’s grand slam ecstasy

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