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Sport Fittler sets coffee date with Aussie tennis ace

05:50  14 january  2018
05:50  14 january  2018 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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He may fallen short in his maiden ATP final, but 18-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur's stellar showing at the Sydney International has earned him a coffee date with New South Wales coach Brad Fittler .

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Alex De Minaur of Australia© PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images) Alex De Minaur of Australia

Alex de Minaur's 'Blue Wall' cry was inspired by the NSW Blues and now the Aussie teenager is set to meet coach Brad Fittler for further inspiration ahead of the 2018 Australian Open.

Fittler has organised a meeting with de Minaur following his impressive display at the Brisbane and Sydney International tournaments.

"Someone who’s doing so well – as he is – has taken an interest in our sport and what we’re doing, so I can’t wait to catch up with him," Fittler told NSWRL.

"I’m going down to Melbourne [for the Australian Open] to catch up with him down there.”

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Fittler was invited to sit in de Minaur's box for the Sydney International final but the NSW coach was unable to attend due to camp with the Emerging Blues squad.

Following the 18-year-old's hard fought loss to Russia's Daniil Medvedev, de Minaur proudly sported the Blues jersey given to him by Fittler at the post-match press conference.

Throughout the lead-up events to the Australian Open, de Minaur was often heard yelling 'Blue Wall', a cry he uses as a mantra for how he approaches his tennis.

"I want all the players out in the locker room to know that I'm going to give it 100 per cent and fight until the last point," he said.

"They're all going to have to beat me. That's what I pride myself on."

He will now prepare for a tough Australian Open round one clash against Tomas Berdych. But having defeated much higher ranked opponents such as Milos Raonic, Benoit Paire, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, de Minaur cannot be underestimated.

Fittler said he was a fan of the youngster even before media started noticing the 'Blue Wall' call.

“I was a fan of his tennis before I realised he was a Blues fan so I’ve been sitting and watching with my daughter every time he’s been on,” Fittler told NSWRL.

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He said as much as de Minaur has drawn inspiration from the rugby league squad - despite Queensland winning 11 of the last 12 State of Origin series - there is inspiration that Blues players can get from the up-and-coming tennis star too.

“There’s something about him. He doesn’t give up, so it’s a nice message to send to all our players," Fittler said.

“He just seems to have a really strong frame of mind and doesn’t ever want to give up.”

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