Australia’s Alex de Minaur is continuing to put Wimbledon heartbreak behind him as he enjoys his best season since 2019.
The 23-year-old topped off a strong start to the US Hard Court swing at the Atlanta Open by overcoming American Jenson Brooksby 6-3 6-3 in last weekend's final.
It is the second Atlanta Open title of his career having also lifted the trophy three years ago.
“It feels good. Not a lot of people have been able to do that, so I feel great,” De Minaur said after the final.
“I feel great about my game. I’ve put a lot of work in, so it’s great to see the hard work being rewarded.”
The world No.30 joins American Mardy Fish and John Isner as the only men to win the Atlanta title more than once.
Despite this weeks hiccup, going out first round at the ATP 500 in Washington, his record for the year now sits at 32-17, the second-best winning percentage across any season of his career.
De Minaur’s 2021 season peaked at Eastbourne when he won his first grass court title at ATP level.
He would fall out of form from that point on, winning just five matches for the remainder of the year, including first round exits at both Wimbledon and the US Open amongst his 12 defeats.
His ranking dropped from 18 back to 41 in the process with a bout of covid in the days following Wimbledon a contributing factor.
“I just spiralled,” de Minaur said prior to this year’s Australian Open.
“I rely so much on my fitness and my body on the court, that missing out on five, 10, 15 per cent, really hurt me a lot. It was a tough time. Confidence just wasn’t there. It’s not easy when you lose a lot of matches, for whatever reason that may be, to get your confidence back up.
“There is a different intensity from training, to playing a match. There would be stages in the match where I would just go flat. That’s never happened to me before. It was frustrating, to say the least.”
Three weeks spent in Spain, training hard in the pre-season and rebuilding his fitness base has helped spearhead his return to form.
2022 has seen de Minaur reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career and the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time.
That Wimbledon loss was particularly brutal, with a two-set lead surrended to Cristian Garin, including three match points, denying de Minaur the chance at an all-Australian quarter-final clash with Nick Kyrgios.
Statistically de Minaur also produced a career best season on clay, despite an early exit at Roland Garros, a sixth career ATP title, the second-best hard-court record of his career to date, two career best slam runs and a brief return to the top 20.
It is a big month to keep building on his very solid season with two big Masters 1000's to come in Montreal and Cincinatti and then the US Open, the scene of what to date is the best grand slam performance of his career, a quarter-final appearance in 2020.
One missing piece for de Minaur has been his ability to convert opportunities against the top ranked players in the world.
Since the start of 2019 he holds a solid 32-12 (73%) record against players ranked between 21 and 50, whilst it drops to 35% against the top 20 (14-26) and 24% against the top 10 (6-19).
Hopefully for Australia’s highest ranked male, the return to his most successful slam, in the city that never sleeps, can help him continue his rise back up the rankings.