Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
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Aust's de Minaur into Next Gen ATP final

Aust's de Minaur into Next Gen ATP final

Australian tennis young gun Alex de Minaur will face top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship match of the Next Gen Finals after battling past Spaniard Jaume Munar.

In sets up to four games in the under-21 tournament in Milan, Tsitsipas won 2-4 4-1 4-3 (6-3) 4-3 (6-3).

De Minaur beat American Taylor Fritz 4-3 (10-8), 4-1, 4-2 on Thursday with Tsitsipas racing past Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 4-1, 4-3 (7-2), 4-1.

The top seed claimed the title by winning all five of his matches during the week, to succeed South Korea's Chung Hyeon, who won the inaugural edition a year ago in which Tsitsipas only played an exhibition match.

"I'm playing well, I'm feeling well, and I'm happy to be the star", said Tsitsipas, 20.

"I stayed calm although I had a chance twice to win the match but remained calm".

Alex landed a deep forehand in the fifth game to force an error from his rival and take it 4-1, losing just eight points on serve in the last two sets and looking strong to wrap up the win in the fourth set.

And he pushed Tsitsipas, who had been poised to snatch victory in the fourth set with a 3-2, 30/40 lead on the Australian's serve.

De Minaur lost to Tsitsipas, ranked 15th, in their only previous meeting in the second round of the Japan Open last month.

"All credit to Stefanos".

"I just had to dig deep", the 19-year-old said after entering the semi-finals having dropped just one set.

"I was down and out there and I managed to scrap my way (back) with a couple good returns and a couple long rallies". And both mentally and physically, I feel like it's time to take a break.

The tournament is being played under a revised format that includes shorter sets to four games, best of five-set matches, no AD scoring, no lets and a shot clock.

It surely helped him as the player eventually got himself together to eventually win the last set 4-3 (7/2).

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