De Minaur had only won one main draw Grand Slam match before this week and was completely outplayed by Nadal, who moved into the fourth round of Wimbledon for the eighth time.
And after the 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 defeat De Minaur revealed that no amount of footage of Nadal could have prepared him for the challenge of playing against the Spaniard on Centre Court.
“It’s just incredible his physicality,” De Minaur said.
“That’s probably what shocked me the most.
“First time I have been on a court with him and just his presence, as well.
“Obviously you watch him on TV, and you can’t really appreciate how hard he hits every single ball and how much intensity and just brute force goes into every one of his ground strokes.
“That’s something that I took it all in today. It was just something new, and it took me a while to sort of really feel sort of try to work my way in there.
“But at the end I felt like it was just a couple games, my service games, long games where I wasn’t able to quite finish it off.
“And then he was able to get that break and then start playing more freely.
“But I enjoyed it today.”
De Minaur has been tipped as one of the brightest young stars of men’s tennis in Australia and will not turn 20 until February next year.
He impressed many by winning the Nottingham Challenger event on grass having reached the final at Surbiton the week before, although he was beaten easily by Mikhail Kukushkin at Eastbourne.
But this run to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time will see him reach a career-high ranking of No 68.
“It’s a great week for me. I played some great tennis. I have had my best result at a slam, as well,” De Minaur added.
“You just gotta take it in. Next tournament is a completely new week. You’ve got to go back out there and just compete and try to get better.
“I think that’s what I’m trying to focus on every day, just trying to get that little bit better and hopefully my ranking will improve with that, as well.”