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Tennis From Milan Next Gen • Tsitsipas, De Minaur Advance At ATP Finals, And Other Men’s Tour News

Photo by @nextgenfinals via Instagram



By Ricky Dimon


Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alex de Minaur booked the first two spots in the semis of the NextGen ATP Finals with respective victories on Wednesday. Tsitsipas beat Frances Tiafoe in four sets, while de Minaur also improved to 2-0 for the week by defeating Andrey Rublev–also in four sets.


Wednesday results
Hubert Hurkacz d. Jaume Munar 4-2, 4-2, 2-4, 3-4(5), 4-1
Taylor Fritz d. Liam Caruana 1-4, 4-1, 4-3(9), 4-2
Stefanos Tsitsipas d. Frances Tiafoe 4-3(3), 4-3(5), 4-2
Alex de Minaur d. Andrey Rublev 4-1, 3-4(5), 4-1, 4-2


Tsitsipas, who kicked off his Milan campaign with a win over Jaume Munar, saved the only two break points he faced against Tiafoe.


“I never dropped my performance,” the top-seeded Greek commented. “I always stayed at 100 per cent almost, so [I am] very satisfied that I managed to stay calm and play every point like a match point. Hopefully I can play like this in every match that I’ll be playing here.”


De Minaur held off Rublev in a back-and-forth, one-hour and 24-minute contest in which the Russian took the second set in a tiebreaker but lost the other three in relatively routine fashion. Perhaps the key to the match was de Minaur’s abuse of the Rublev second serve, winning 17 of 22 such points.


“It was great,” the 19-year-old Aussie assured. “I knew coming in it was going to be a really tough match and I was going to have to play some really good tennis and not leave too many balls short because his forehand is seriously one of the most dangerous weapons out there on the tour. I’m really happy with my win. I thought I executed my game-plan really well and served really well.


“It’s not over yet,” de Minaur added, even though he is already through to the semifinals. “Every match counts. I’m very happy with my win today and it’s been a great year, but tomorrow’s another day and you’ve got to get back out there and keep doing the same.”


Thursday matchups
Tiafoe vs. Munar
Rublev vs. Caruana
De Minaur vs. Fritz
Tsitsipas vs. Hurkacz


Meanwhile, the main event–the Nitto ATP Finals in London–is just four days away from getting stated. Marin Cilic, for one, is looking forward to turning the tide from his last three trips to the O2 Arena. The 2014 U.S. Open champion has never advanced to the semis and he is just 1-8overall in nine career matches.


“Last year when I came to London, I felt just a little bit drained,” Cilic admitted. “Even though I played well at the end of the year, I had a lot of matches and it just took a little bit of extra energy out of me. Mentally, as well, it was difficult to sustain that over and over again.”


Things may be different this time around, as the Croat has played only nine matches since the U.S. Open.


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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