Alex de Minaur in shock development as Wimbledon tennis preparations take massive hit

The setback comes just 48 hours after a double triumph with girlfriend Katie Boulter.

Alex de Minaur has suffered a shock first-round loss at Queen's, throwing a huge curveball in his preparations for Wimbledon. Just 48 hours after winning the title in s'Hertogenbosch and climbing to a new career-high ranking of World No.7, de Minaur showed some fatigue as he went down 6-1 4-6 2-6 to Lorenzo Musetti.

De Minaur and girlfriend Katie Boulter were the toast of the tennis world as they won titles on the same day on Sunday, but the short turnaround took a toll on the Aussie star on Tuesday. De Minaur looked on course for an easy win when he brushed aside Musetti 6-1 in the opening set in west London.

Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti at Queen's.
Alex de Minaur suffered a shock first-round loss to Lorenzo Musetti at Queen's. Image: AAP/Getty

But his Italian opponent took advantage of some errors as de Minaur began to fatigue. The runner-up at Queen's last year, de Minaur went down 4-0 in the third set before getting on the scoreboard and avoiding a bagel. But he had too much to do to come back and World No.30 Musetti sealed the victory.

Because he was runner-up last year and had a bag of rankings points to defend, de Minaur will now fall down to at least ninth (and maybe lower) heading into Wimbledon. But the Aussie star is taking the setback in his stride.

Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti.
Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti after their match at Queen's. Image: Getty

"I lost a tennis match," he said afterwards. "Sometimes it happens. If it didn't tennis would be a very easy sport when you win every match you play. It was a very quick turnaround from s'Hertogenbosch. I did my best to adapt and thought I came out really well. I had so many chances in the second set. It is one of the few matches where I would walk off and say, 'I think I got unlucky'.

"That could easy be a 6-1 6-3 type of match. If I end up getting the break ... I had an easy ball and I hit the net cord and it sails long. A couple of break points here and there in the second set. I played a lot of tennis recently and it got the better of me in the end."


De Minaur said he isn't too concerned about his ranking and is confident he'll have enough tennis in him before Wimbledon kicks off later this month. "The ranking spot doesn't really bother me too much as it fluctuates every week," he said. "All of us in the positions 7-12 are all a few points away, so any given week it changes. I am used to that. It has felt every week I go up, I go down, it depends who has a good week."

Alex de Minaur and girlfriend Katie Boulter.
Alex de Minaur and girlfriend Katie Boulter both won titles last weekend. Image: AAP/Getty

The loss at Queen's was only his second in the last 10 matches, and de Minaur reckons he was the better player until mental and physical fatigue set in after his triumph in the Netherlands. "Looking at the bigger picture that is the most important thing," he added. "I played well today, just mentally ran away at the end. I'm feeling confident on the grass, and now I have a lot of time to prepare for Wimby [Wimbledon].

"The tennis world is non-stop, there was no real chance to celebrate [Sunday's win]. I won Sunday, fly that night, have a hit yesterday, play today. I would rather go deeper here but it is what it is. I have been dealt this hand and will deal with it. There are days things don't go your way. You just have to move on, there's no other way to look at it.

"I have won plenty of titles and plenty of times lost the first round the next time. It is tennis. It is frustrating as I thought I was maybe the better player in the first two sets." Thinking ahead to Wimbledon he added: "I will have enough preparation, be ready to go and be looking forward to it."

with AAP