Rising Canberra tennis star Charlie Camus should look no further than Alex de Minaur for a blueprint to success, an Australian tennis great says.
Camus was this week named one of three nominees for the Male Junior Athlete of the Year at the Australian Tennis Awards next Monday, where the Newcombe Medal will also be awarded.
The 17-year-old ACT product spent the last year-and-a-half taking his tennis to the next level, competing in a mixture of professional and junior events abroad, lifting his junior world ranking to 34 in the process.
Camus also got to rub shoulders with the nation's best as orange boy for the Australian Davis Cup team, as he plots a move to soon turning fully professional.
But former top player, now commentator and Tennis Australia director of performance Wally Masur, had a warning for Camus with areas of his game set to be tested as he makes the jump from the junior circuit.
"He's got game, there's no question about it," Masur told The Canberra Times.
"He's a talented player making his mark in the ITF junior levels. But it's a slog as an international game. It's about the resiliency you have to acquire bouncing back from disappointment, and the biggest thing right now is also the physicality of the game.
"If you look at the top men on tour, their athleticism and ability, that's a journey that any young player has to be on, too."
That's where Masur sees similarities in de Minaur and Camus, as two smaller players with more wiry physiques.
De Minaur has developed from a scrawny teen to become one of the fittest and fastest players in the game at 24, with strength on the baseline to defend and stay in rallies, wear out his opponents and be ready to strike on the counter-attack.
If Camus is to be successful as a pro, Masur believed 'The Demon' should be his blueprint.
"Alex de Minaur was slightly built," he said.
"I remember in the early days he wasn't overly fond of the gym, because everybody just likes to do what they're good at.
"But he worked unbelievably hard at it, and while he's giving away kilos and several inches in height to other players, he's world No.11.
"So it can be done, but there's a lot of effort that goes into that."
Masur tells a story of his mother Lesley actually spotting a young Camus at the Yarralumla Tennis Club nearly 10 years ago and predicting a bright future for the youngster.
"At the time I was a bit like, 'Mum, seriously'? But she was on the money," Masur said.
"She said I'd have to keep my eye out for him, so I've got to give my mum credit as a talent scout, because she obviously saw something in him even back then that was pretty impressive."
Masur said Camus was set to face his "toughest years" between 17 and 22 as he made the "break from boy to man".
But Masur believed Camus could be one of Australia's top young talents in the pros before long.
"He's travelling in a really good direction," Masur said.
"It's important what he's doing on the court, and also how he develops his body, getting ready for the rigours of the tour - these are all the challenges for young Charlie going forward."
De Minaur is among six finalists for the Newcombe Medal. Also vying for awards at the gala event will be Melba Tennis Club, nominated for the Most Outstanding Tennis Club award, and ACT's Ros Balodis, who is a finalist for the Most Outstanding 35-plus Tennis Senior.