Alexei Popyrin’s partner Amy Pederick has lifted the lid on the young Aussie’s difficult 2022.
After suffering first-round losses at last year’s Australian Open, Indian Wells and the Miami Open, Popyrin won the BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux on clay in May, and climbed back into the top-100.
But despite that win, he had dropped out of the top-100 again by the end of the year.
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Speaking on Nine’s Today from Dubai on Sunday morning, Pederick said 2022 “took its toll” on the 23-year-old.
“It was really tough, mentally – very draining for him and it wasn’t easy,” she said.
“But he stuck through, he grinded, and he pushed through and he trained so hard in pre-season.
“Every single day he was on the court for hours. He tried everything, mentally. He got a new nutrition coach on the team, and I think he has worked so hard to build an amazing team and build that strong support system.
“I think that is what helped him, and he has gone into this year with a very positive mind set.”
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Pederick said she believed 2023 would be the biggest of Popyrin’s career.
“He has had an insane start to the year in 2023. I think big things are coming this year, so I think we should all watch this space,” she said.
“I am incredibly proud.”
Popyrin’s third round elimination from the Australian Open equals his best result at his home slam, having also made the third round in 2019 and 2020.
His best result at Roland Garros and Wimbledon were second round appearances in 2019, while he’s also made the third round of the 2019 and 2020 US Opens.
Popyrin will be in action again on Sunday, in the men’s doubles with Marc Polmans. They will take on No.2 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury on Kia Arena.
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