Leaving his vaccination scandal in the past, Alex de Minaur’s sole focus is squarely on piloting Australia to the rescheduled 2022 Davis Cup Finals.
De Minaur will lead Australia into battle in a World Group qualifier in Sydney on Friday barely a fortnight after vehemently denying purchasing a falsified COVID-19 vaccination certificate in Europe.
The Australian men’s No.1 player took to social media on Thursday to make it “100 per cent clear” that his two vaccination shots were “valid, accurate and true”.
De Minaur was swept up in the controversy after a media report in Spain – where he is based in Alicante during the European season – alleged that he was among those being investigated for buying a falsified certificate to bypass vaccinations.
“A lot of stuff happens off the court but I got boosted a couple of days ago when I got here and I’m just ready to go,” the 23-year-old said on Tuesday.
“We get to be in a team environment, you get to forget everything else that is happening and you just focus on getting better with the boys and bringing the best out of all the boys.”
With Davis Cup home ties a precious commodity under the competition’s revamped format, the Sydney-born baseline slugger has even more reason to cherish this clash with Hungary.
“It’s pretty special. For me, Sydney was my first tie as an orange boy so it brings back great memories,” de Minaur said.
“We played Slovakia on the grass and to be able to come back here and play in my home town, it’s going to be very exciting that’s for sure.
“It’s amazing. It’s one of the best times of the year.”
De Minaur is the only lock to spearhead Australia as Lleyton Hewitt’s No.1 singles choice, with the revitalised Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alexei Popyrin vie for the captain’s second pick.
“Look, we don’t want to give out too much,” de Minaur said.
“That’s the amazing thing about this great group of guys – anyone can play. We’ve got plenty of options no matter what happens.
“Whatever Hungary throws at us, we know it’s going to be a very tough battle. They’ve got some quality.
“We’ve got options, we’ll be ready.”
The opening two singles rubbers will be played on Friday night, with the doubles and two reverse singles matches on Saturday.
Unlike many sporting events along the flooded east coast, the fixture is certain to yield a result as the first-ever Davis Cup Cup tie played under a roof at Ken Rosewall Arena.
“We’re definitely very fortunate to have this roof and play and not be too bothered by the rain,” de Minaur said.
The winners will progress to the World Group Finals that have been shifted this year from November-December to September after the US Open.