De Minaur pleased with progress but eyes bigger things

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alex de Minaur is pleased to have been battling it out at the business end of a Grand Slam but after being overpowered by Dominic Thiem on Wednesday the slender Australian knows his body has to fill out before he can challenge the game’s big hitters.

Sep 9, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York,USA; Alex de Minaur of Australia hits a volley against Dominic Thiem of Austria (not pictured) in a men's singles quarter-finals match on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The 21-year-old was beaten 6-1 6-2 6-4 by Austrian Thiem in a U.S. Open quarter-final that was much more competitive than the score suggested.

De Minaur, nicknamed ‘Demon’ and known for his speedy all-court coverage, recognised that at 1.83m tall and weighing 69kgs he lacks a bit of physicality against the top-tier players.

“One of the things with Dominic is obviously we all know the strength he’s got, the power he’s got,” de Minaur told reporters of the Austrian, who has an additional 10kg on his 1.85m frame.

“He’s got the strength to just still hit through the court.

“Obviously with my body, I probably don’t have the power to just hit through the court as well.

“Hopefully with years to come I’ll get bigger, I’ll get stronger, I’ll grow into my body a little bit more.

“Still, I don’t want to wait for those couple years. I want to be making strides as soon as I can.”

De Minaur, who has been mentored by former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, has made enormous strides in a short space of time to make the final eight at a Grand Slam for the first time on Wednesday, but even that was not good enough for him.

“This is where I want to be, but I’m not satisfied just coming here and getting to quarters any more,” he said.

“I want to keep on pushing. I’ll strive for bigger and better things.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford