For the first time in his career, Alex de Minaur has earned himself a place in the fourth round at Wimbledon. On Monday, the Australian will face Cristian Garin in a bid to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the second time in his career, having also reached that stage at the 2020 US Open. Before the match, Adolfo Gutierrez, De Minaur’s lifelong coach, spoke to ATPTour.com about his student’s current form, his year of el so far, and the secret to their long, successful relationship.
“Being in the last 16 at a Grand Slam is always significant for a player’s confidence, seeing that the hard work and dedication brings rewards,” explained Gutierrez in London. “Ultimately, all tournaments are important, but the majors are special, and we always want to do as well as possible in these weeks because of what it means to the players.
“This year we started very well, and we’ve had some continuity with good results that we hope to continue having during the second half of the season. We have a good chance to pick up points, as we didn’t have a good second half of the year in 2021.”
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After a lifetime together, the player and coach maintain a healthy and successful relationship that continues to bear fruit, as they have demonstrated this week at Wimbledon. The key is very simple.
“A lot of people ask us that, but ultimately, any relationship is simple if you maintain respect, good communication and honesty,” said Gutierrez. “I have no secrets of any kind with Alex and that helps maintain peace of mind within the team. It’s the same with Emilio, our trusted physio and fitness coach, as well as with Jose Antonio, the psychologist. We’re all kind of from the same mold and they have always respected the way I work with Alex, and they fit in well. That helps keep us united and working in the best conditions possible.”
However, after so much time together, Gutierrez continues to discover things about De Minaur that surprise him, despite sharing so many hours of the day together.
“I always thought that he couldn’t surprise me much after so much time, knowing him so well, but above all he continues to surprise me with his ability to turn a match around when it suddenly gets tough,” he said. “It’s as if he were a different player and he changes everything as if it were no big deal, as if it were normal, which I think is very difficult.”
“From my point of view, consistency and mentality are where he has improved the most,” said Gutierrez. “We’re still working to improve everything; technique, fitness and mentality, to make Alex an increasingly complete player.”
De Minaur does not appear to have reached his peak on the ATP Tour yet, despite having a career-high ranking of No. 15 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
“I honestly don’t think so,” said Gutierrez. “I am confident, and I think that we’re growing at our own pace. I don’t think there are limits. With the work rate and the progress he’s showing, both physically and mentally, we’re en route to continue climbing and being more competitive every day.
“From my humble point of view, and I think I still have a lot to learn in this world, I continue to think he can improve everything; shots, tactics, fitness … but the big change I see is in his mentality. How to cope with the big moments and be prepared when you have to dig the deepest.”
– This story was translated from ATPTour.com/en