Alex de Minaur absorbs the pain of a second straight Davis Cup final loss and make a vow to Australia.
By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, November 27, 2023
Confetti reigning down on court could not dampen the pain pouring on the green-and-gold side.
Team Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt removed his runner-up medal almost immediately and Aussie No. 1 Alex de Minaur soaked in the sight of Italian players celebrating the Davis Cup championship and another agonizing end for Australia.
Jannik Sinner won the final eight straight games crushing de Minaur 6-3, 6-0 sealing Italy’s first Davis Cup championship in 47 years with a 2-0 triumph over Australia in the Davis Cup final in Malaga, Spain.
It’s the second straight Davis Cup final loss for Australia, which fell to Canada in the 2022 final.
Afterward, de Minaur conceded the gut-wrenching pain of another Davis Cup finals miss, while vowing the Aussies will keep coming until they recapture the Cup.
“We are very, very close. It’s stinks like hell,” de Minaur said. “Again, like I said last year in this same position, we’ll be back. We’ll get this. I mean, we’ve got a very, very strong future ahead of us.”
Doubles standout Matthew Ebden backed de Minaur’s determined mission statement.
“[We] earned a lot from Lleyton and Rochey and took heart from that,” Ebden said. “We asked Rochey [Aussie legend Tony Roche] to come back this year, saying, One more year, Rochey, be with us, we can do it.
“I think we all really believed we could do it. I think we still do. I don’t think anything’s changed. Just didn’t fall our way on the day.”
Captain Hewitt said Sinner, who saved three match points defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic snapping the Serbian superstar’s 21-match Davis Cup singles winning streak in the semifinals, was simply too good on the lightning quick Malaga hard court.
“Jannik, he’s played awesome all week. Yeah, the last few weeks, to be honest, last few months,” Hewitt said. “So he showed why he’s a top 3 or 4 player in the world at the moment. He backed up what he did yesterday against Novak and played extremely good tennis. I think the conditions and surface suit him perfectly, as well, which makes life pretty tough.
“I’m super proud of all the boys and the support staff and the team. We did absolutely everything we possibly could have, and we have come agonizingly close yet again.”
Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty for ITF