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Tennis Rising Star Jared Donaldson • Lone American in The NextGen ATP Finals In Milan

By Ricky Dimon


The seven automatic qualifiers for the first annual NextGen ATP Finals in Milan are set. With No. 1 in the race Alexander Zverev out due to his upcoming appearance at the World Tour Finals in London, the field includes Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Borna Coric, Jared Donaldson, Hyeon Chung, and Daniil Medvedev.


Frances Tiafoe had a chance to qualify heading into this week, but he drew none other than Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoors Basel first round. A 6-1, 6-3 victory brought a swift end to his hopes and will leave Donaldson as the only American in Milan.


Donaldson has earned 21 of his 32 career ATP-level match victories this season. He is up to No. 50 in the rankings thanks in part to an outstanding summer that was highlighted by a third-round showing at Wimbledon, third-round appearances in Washington, D.C. and at the Rogers Cup, and a quarterfinal run in Cincinnati.


“It’s obviously a great feeling when you feel like you’re hard work is paying off,” Donaldson commented. “But I think it feels that much better because players and i think fans know how difficult it is to get good results. Everybody’s hungry; everybody wants to win. And that’s why when you do get them, it’s very rewarding.”


Shapovalov is one other North American representative. The Canadian also surged into prominence this summer with a semifinal performance at the Rogers Cup and a fourth-round finish at the U.S. Open.


“Only eight guys get the privilege to play such a prestigious event,” Shapovalov noted. “So I’m going to enjoy myself and try to do the best I can.”


One other spot remains. It will be decided by a 21-and-under all-Italian tournament in early November, assuring that the host nation of the NextGen ATP Finals will have one participant.

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


Lovey Wishes Jared Happy Belated 21st. Birthday! Stay focused – it’s been a long season but you have a great Team captained by Jan-Michael Gambill.

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