Next Gen: Tsitsipas, De Minaur into semifinals

Published by Matt Trollope

Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) and Alex De Minaur are both 2-0 after two matches in round-robin play at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan (Getty Images)
Top two seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alex De Minaur head their respective groups after wins on Wednesday at the Next Gen ATP Finals and have already clinched spots in the semifinals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alex De Minaur are undefeated after two matches at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, and have already confirmed their places in the semifinals.

Tsitsipas, the No.1 seed, and De Minaur, seeded second, scored victories on Wednesday to improve their win-loss records to 2-0, topping Group A and Group B respectively.

Tsitsipas downed Frances Tiafoe in straight sets, but the scoreline was nonetheless competitive – 4-3(3) 4-3(5) 4-2 – in a match between two of the game’s flashiest, brightest Next Gen stars.

“I never dropped my performance, I always stayed at 100 per cent almost,” Tsitsipas said.

“Very satisfied that I managed to stay calm and play every point like it’s a match point … hopefully I can play like this in every single match that I’ll be playing here at the Next Gen Finals.”

Tsitsipas beat Jaume Munar in his first match in Milan.

De Minaur, meanwhile, overcame Andrey Rublev 4-1 3-4(5) 4-1 4-2 to score his second win at the tournament after thumping Italian wildcard Liam Caruana in his opening match.

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The Australian – who at 19 is the only teenager in the eight-player Next Gen Finals field – sealed victory over Rublev in under 90 minutes.

“Insanely proud with my efforts, both yesterday and today,” De Minaur said. “I served really well and I needed to play my best tennis to beat such a high-level opponent.”

De Minaur, notable for his speed around the court, has lit up with indoor court in Milan with his court coverage and ability to skid and slide around on the hard court.

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He told atpworldtour.com that he had brought three pairs of shoes with him to the tournament – “just in case.”

“Looks like I’m starting to get a hole in my first pair, so I might have to bring out a fresh pair tomorrow,” he smiled.

Tomorrow he will face Taylor Fritz, who overcame Caruana in four sets earlier on Wednesday.

Yet it was Caruana who produced the most memorable moment of the match, courtesy of an athletic diving volley winner deep in the third-set tiebreak.

In the other match of the day, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz overcame Munar 4-2 4-2 2-4 3-4(5) 4-1.

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