TENNIS FROM MILAN • TSITSIPAS, DE MINAUR, TIAFOE, AND FRITZ HEADLINE 2018 NEXTGEN ATP FINALS FIELD

Written by: on 6th November 2018
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TENNIS FROM MILAN • TSITSIPAS, DE MINAUR, TIAFOE, AND FRITZ HEADLINE 2018 NEXTGEN ATP FINALS FIELD

epa07116704 Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his first round match against France's Jeremy Chardy at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel, Switzerland, October 24, 2018. EPA-EFE/GEORGIOS KEFALAS  |

By Ricky Dimon

 

The 2018 NextGen ATP Finals draw ceremony was conducted earlier this week and it proceeded without controversy. After all, there were no models this time around.

 

Last year’s inaugural festivities started with a bizarre party in which the eight participants “chose” models, with their round-robin group placement ultimately depending on that choice. That drew massive criticism from the tennis world and beyond, so it was no surprise that there was no such political incorrectness for the second installment of this season-ending event.

 

This draw was conducted by more traditional means, and it produced the following:

 

Group A

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Frances Tiafoe

Hubert Hurkacz

Jaume Munar

 

Group B

Alex de Minaur

Taylor Fritz

Andrey Rublev

Liam Caruana

 

The top-seeded Tsitsipas has soared to No. 15 in the world this year, earning 41 of his 45 career ATP-level match victories. Tiafoe is into the top 40, Hurkacz is up to 85th, and Munar–a Rafael Nadal Academy product, highlighted his breakout 2018 campaign with a five-set French Open upset of David Ferrer.

 

“I think our group is much better than Group B,” Tsitsipas joked while speaking on stage at the Nhow Hotel in Milan.

 

De Minaur leads Goup B as the No. 2 seed as he wraps up a year in which he boasts 24 of his 26 career main-tour match wins. At No. 31 in the rankings, the Aussie is in position to snag a seed at the 2019 Australian Open. Meanwhile, Fritz (47th) and Rublev (68th) also find themselves comfortably in the top 100. Caruana, a 20-year-old Italian, got a wild card as one of the host nation’s top up-and-comers. He will be the underdog this week as the No. 622 player in the world.

 

“I definitely wasn’t expecting this,” de Minaur said of his season. “It’s been a great year, I’ve played some unbelievable tennis.”

 

Speaking of the draw ceremony, it is worth checking out photos from the players’ Instagram accounts. The outfits, it must be said, were on fire.

 

“We stay swagged out,” Tiafoe wrote as his caption.

 

“Dolce and the Gabanna gang,” de Minaur quipped.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

 

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