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Teen sensation Alex De Minaur awarded Sydney International wildcard

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Sydney’s Alex De Minaur has been awarded a wildcard into the Sydney International, joining Ash Barty (Qld), Daria Gavrilova (Vic) and fellow wildcard recipients Sam Stosur (Qld) and Jordan Thompson (NSW) in the main draw.

The rising Aussie star enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2017 that saw his ranking soar from world No.351 in January to a career-high of 182 in October. He reached his first ATP Challenger final in Spain in August and won his first professional title at the ITF Futures event in Portugal in July.

Runner-up in the boys’ singles at Wimbledon in 2016, De Minaur impressed during the last Australian summer. He qualified for the Brisbane International, scored his maiden ATP Tour match victory at the Sydney International, and saved a match point en route to recording his first Grand Slam match win at the Australian Open.

The 18-year-old said he was delighted to be starting his 2018 season in his home town.

“Playing in front of Australian fans is exciting, but playing in front of your home crowd takes that excitement to the next level,” De Minaur said. “I have great memories of playing in front of the Sydney crowd last year. They really got behind me and helped carry me through the first professional win of my career.”

De Minaur booked his place at the opening Grand Slam of the season with a gripping 6-2 6-4 6-7(1) 6-1 win over Alex Bolt in the final of the Australian Open Play-off earlier this month.

He said that victory would boost his confidence at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in January.

“Winning the Australian Open Play-off last week was a big one for me,” De Minaur said.

“I couldn’t be happier with where my game’s at right now and I’m working hard to prepare for the start of the season. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can take it in 2018.”

Fellow New South Welshman Thompson claimed some of the biggest scalps of his career in 2017, beating David Ferrer in Brisbane, Feliciano Lopez in Mexico, and Andy Murray in the first round at Queen’s. The 23-year-old achieved a career high ranking of No.63 in February.