Australian Alex de Minaur has told reporters 2020 was a “dark year” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but believes he is now ready to make his mark on the ATP tour, beginning in Melbourne in a couple of weeks time.

De Minaur has already won his fourth ATP title, in Turkey recently, but has set his sights on repeating his remarkable achievement of reaching the US Open quarter-finals last September.

“2020 was a tough year. Obviously I had my best result at a slam but it doesn’t feel like my best achievement,” de Minaur told AAP.

“It was still a dark time. I wasn’t feeling great. It was just mentally, I wouldn’t say my best performance.

Alex De Minaur at the US Open in 2019. Photo: Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

“I ended up putting a couple of matches together and I had my best result. It’s still something to be proud of but still 2020 as a whole, I would say I had a lot of expectations for it and … look, it’s just fuelling the hunger for 2021, to make it even better.”

De Minaur can’t wait to get his freedom back after quarantine.

“I’m sure that will feel amazing,” he said.

“I’ve got my goal in my head of where I want to be when 2021 finishes up, but it’s a goal that I don’t like to say out loud.