Alex de Minaur is the 14th seed at this week’s Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, where he will try to win his first ATP Tour title on clay. The Aussie is making his debut at the ATP 500.
There is plenty to know about the 22-year-old off the court, too. ATPTour.com caught up with De Minaur to learn more about his life on Tour, from his essential items on the road to a memorable travel story from his early days at tour-level.
What are two essential non-tennis items you always pack for trips?
My headphones. I listen to a lot of music on long flights. [Also] my iPad [because] I normally have a couple of Netflix shows backed up on there, downloaded and ready to go if I’m not really feeling the in-flight entertainment.
Right now, I have hit a spot where I am not too sure where I want to go [on Netflix]. I finished a couple of long TV shows and I am not really feeling another one, so I have just been going with movies. I watched Bright on Netflix with Will Smith not too long ago, but I don’t have a TV show right now that I am binge-watching.
Do you enjoy travelling the world or consider it just something that needs to be done to be a pro tennis player? If you do enjoy it, what do you enjoy about travelling?
I think that is something that, due to the pandemic, has really opened my eyes. I have definitely been missing out on actually travelling, seeing different places and the cities we are in. Normally we just tend to play the tournament, go back to the hotel and not really explore too much, so that is something that, once we are allowed, will definitely change for me.
Can you talk about a time you decided to play a specific tournament in part because you wanted to travel to that city?
There are a couple of tournaments that maybe don’t work for me and my game the best, but the actual place is so nice and so comfortable that you sometimes make the exception. I think Acapulco is one of them. I always enjoyed playing that tournament. I haven’t had my best results there, but it is always a great place to be.
What is your craziest travel story?
I have never missed a flight [and] I have never lost my passport. I have been pretty good with that stuff.
After my first final in Sydney, we finished very late and the tournament provided all the finalists with a private jet to go to Melbourne. That was my first time in a private jet. [It was] an incredible experience and we made it at 3 a.m. the following morning. We hit that day and the day after I started my Australian Open campaign.
I guess you are a pretty organised traveller if you have never lost your passport or missed a flight?
I don’t tend to lose stuff. I am pretty good with that. Sometimes I might forget little, simple things, but I am pretty good and hopefully it stays that way.
How do you try to overcome jetlag and acclimate to the local time zone?
I am pretty good with jetlag. I have learned how to deal with it. I feel like I can just force myself to stay awake until nighttime. I feel like the first two days are probably the hardest part and, from there on, I might wake up a little bit earlier at 7 a.m.
But apart from that, I have gotten used to it. Don’t ask me how. I don’t need sleeping pills or anything, which is a big bonus.