The former coach of teenage star Alex De Minaur has backed him to reach the top echelons of the game, ahead of his Australian Open clash with former top ten star Tomas Berdych.
The 18-year-old has had a fine start to the season reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane, before becoming the youngest Australian since Lleyton Hewitt to make the Sydney International final, eventually succumbing to Daniil Medvedev in three sets.
Ben Pyne, who first met De Minaur as a 12-year old and brought him up through the Australian Junior Davis Cup system says his steady nature and consistency sets him apart from most.
“He’s definitely got what it takes [to become a top ten player],” he told SEN Mornings.
“The really good thing about Alex is he’s not up or down. You know what you’re going to get from him every day. “From day one he was a great little competitor.
“I think that will hold him in very good stead as he progresses through his career because the emotional rollercoasters aren’t going to be there for him.”
While De Minaur’s backhand appears to be his most dominant shot, he expects his serve to become a major weapon as he grows into his body.
“His backhand is a real dominant shot, something he does really well. He’s able to change direction fast and I think that’s developed huge,” Pyne said.
“The serve I think is part of the game that will improve and has improved continuously. As he gets bigger and stronger that will become a shot that will really hold him in good stead.
“There is still so much upside in every part of his game.”
Despite a match up with former Wimbledon finalist Berdych looking tough on paper, Pyne feels De Minaur believes he belongs at the top level.
“The real thing for Alex – the game is there. It’s a matter of him really believing that he belongs and I think it’s evident now that he really does believe he belongs at the top of the game,” he said.
“I think Berdych is really going to be in for a battle.”
To hear Ben Pyne on SEN Mornings take a listen in the player below