De Minaur plans to shoot for double glory at Olympics

Ian Chadband |

Alex de Minaur has revealed he’s got his eye on winning two medals at the Olympic Games.
Alex de Minaur has revealed he’s got his eye on winning two medals at the Olympic Games.

Alex de Minaur has revealed he will shoot for two golds in both singles and doubles at the Paris Olympic Games – and he hopes to warm up at Roland Garros by launching his best ever French Open next week. 

Australia’s top player, who cruelly missed out on Tokyo in 2021 after being struck down with COVID just before the Games, told AAP from Paris that, as well as his singles bid, he will definitely team up for a crack at Olympic men’s doubles glory.

Australia could qualify two men’s doubles pairs for the July Olympic tournament on the Roland Garros clay – but former Wimbledon winner Max Purcell also told AAP on Friday he’ll probably miss the Games as he pursues his ATP tour singles ambitions instead.

“It’s gonna be something different, for sure,” de Minaur said, as he outlined his excitement at the double quest.

“Last time it was pretty devastating with contracting COVID a couple days prior to Tokyo when I’d been very excited to be a part of it – but, hey, I’ve got myself another chance and I’ll definitely be ready for it this time.

“I’m looking forward to playing singles, playing some doubles as well. It should be very exciting.”

De Minaur’s Olympic men’s partner is not yet finalised but it could be veteran Matt Ebden, the world No.3 doubles player, who will definitely be playing in both the men’s and mixed events.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen (with the pairings) yet, but I know it will be singles and doubles for me,” confirmed de Minaur.

Max Purcell
Max Purcell has revealed he’s unlikely to be playing at the Olympics. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Purcell, who’s forged a brilliant Davis Cup partnership with Ebden since their 2022 Wimbledon triumph together, explained that, with Olympic singles qualification now likely beyond him with the qualification period up after the French Open, he wouldn’t pursue another crack at doubles. 

“If I’m not in singles, I wouldn’t just go for doubles,” said Purcell, who reckons he would instead concentrate during those Olympic weeks on gathering points at ATP Tour events.

“I’ve had the Olympic experience (as a late entry in Tokyo in both the singles and doubles) and my aim is to play the next two (Olympics in Los Angeles and Brisbane) that should be on hard courts.

“I just don’t fancy my chances as much on the clay … and you really want to make sure that you’re giving Australia the best chance for a medal.”

Meanwhile, de Minaur couldn’t have sounded more upbeat about his French Open hopes as he seeks to seal his best ever season on clay by becoming the first Australian since Lleyton Hewitt 17 years ago to reach the second week of the singles.

“That’s definitely the goal. I’m yet to go past the second round here in Paris, but I don’t see why I can’t play well here. I’m looking forward to putting some of my best tennis together and really going on a run,” said the world No.11, who faces rising American teen Alex Michelsen in the first round.

“It’s been a productive clay-court swing for me and I’m probably in the best shape coming into Paris that I’ve been in recent years. So, hopefully, I can show that level on the court.

“I think there’s no reason why I can’t get to the quarter-finals in any slam. It’s all about just bringing your best tennis on those two weeks, and that’s definitely the goal,” added de Minaur, who’s made the last-eight at a major just once at the 2020 US Open.