After the overnight results at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 19-year-old Alex de Minaur is locked in to rise to the no. 1 ranked Australian tennis player once the rankings are updated next Monday.
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Photo: Alex de Minaur in action against fellow #NextGenATP player Stefanos Tsitsipas in Tokyo
In a second-round match, de Minaur lost to a fellow #NextGenATP player in Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Nick Kyrgios who lost the final in 2017 lost to Richard Gasquet 7-6(4), 7-6(1), also in the second round.
After failing to defend the 300 points earned in reaching the 2017 final Kyrgios drops to no. 38 on the live rankings. de Minaur now sits at no. 33 and US Open quarterfinalist John Millman is just five ranking points behind at no. 34 on the live rankings.
There still could be some movement on the rankings with Filip Krajinovic, Marton Fucsovics, Jan-Lennard Struff, Dusan Lajovic, and Malek Jaziri all still active and able to move ahead of de Minaur.
It has been a rapid rise for the 19-year-old who sits at no. 4 in the #NextGenATP rankings. He started the year ranked at no. 208 and immediately set about shooting up the rankings with great results in Brisbane and Sydney where he reached the semifinals at the Brisbane International then the final at the Sydney International losing to Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 4-6, 5-7.
After those two great results, he had jumped to no. 127. de Minaur’s next good result was reaching the final at the Ferrero Challenger event in Alicante Spain in mid-April. After another Challenger finals appearance, this time in a grass court event in Surbiton, de Minaur first cracked the top-100 when rankings were updated on 11 June 2018.
From mid-June until 6 August he jumped 51 places to 45 after winning the Nature Valley Open Challenger event and reaching the final of the Citi Open ATP 500 event in Washington. Last week de Minaur reached the semifinals at the ATP 250 event in Shenzhen China.
As mentioned above, there are still players that could influence the final ranking for de Minaur next week. Most likely he will be no. 33, a career-high, and the no. 1 Australian player.
Australia currently has six players inside the top-100. As of the rankings released on 1 October, they are Nick Kyrgios (27), John Millman (35), Alex de Minaur (38), Matt Ebden (48), Bernard Tomic (76) and Jason Kubler (92). Jordan Thompson would join the top-100 if he wins the $100,000 ATP Challenger tournament at Stockton, USA.
The other exciting achievement for de Minaur is that he will most likely be part of the #NextGenATP finals in Milan. The tournament will take place from 6-10 November and has prize money of $1,250,000 US.