MILAN, November 8, 2017
The inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals got underway on Tuesday with shorter sets, a solo chair umpire and four first-time matches on the ATP World Tour.
Top seed Andrey Rublev of Russia opened his title bid with a 1-4, 4-0, 4-3(3), 0-4, 4-3(3) win over Italian wild card entry Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy. Both players reached No. 1 and captured Grand Slam titles in the juniors, but Rublev has had more success on tour, being ranked World No. 37. He also clinched his first ATP World Tour title in July on the clay in Umag.
Nonethelss, the 20-year-old Russian had to fight hard and needed to show strong performance in the end, winning 11 of the final 14 points against the home favourite to avoid a stunning opening loss. Rublev converted match point after one hour and 46 minutes.
— Next Gen ATP Finals (@nextgenfinals) 8. November 2017
In other Group A action, sixth seed Hyeon Chung of South Korea beat No. 3 seed and the youngest player as well as only teenager in the field, Denis Shapovalov of Canada, 1-4, 4-3(5), 4-3(4), 4-1.
Chung, who owns the best season and career win percentage of all eight men in Milan, withstood 12 aces and capitalized on one of his seven break point chances to seal victory in one hour and 35 minutes.
Medvedev And Coric With Wins In Group B
Play began with an All-Russian Group B match between second seed Karen Khachanov and No. 7 seed Daniil Medvedev. Khachanov leads the field with 25 wins this season, but his 2017 hardcourt record is 6-18. Medvedev, who also had an up-and-down year, highlighted by six quarterfinal finishes, a semi-final run at Eastbourne and a maiden final at Chennai, emerged victorious 2-4, 4-3(6), 4-3(2), 4-2.
Medvedev won 70 per cent of his first service points and 53 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 50 minutes.
A winning start for @DaniilMedwed 💪
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 7. November 2017
“At the end of the season I had a lot of matches where I couldn’t find my game and couldn’t come back in the match. Here, losing the first set I had a lot of things in my mind coming through, and I’m very happy that I managed to raise my game to come back in this match and win it,” Medvedev said.
No. 4 seed Borna Coric of Croatia and fifth favourite Jared Donaldson of the United States went head-to-head in Tuesday’s other Group B match. Coric, who turns 21 on November 14, has exceeded 20 wins in three straight seasons and defeated both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray on two occasions. Donaldson has matched Coric with 21 victories in 2017, though he still seeks his first Top 10 win.
Coric was off to a flying start, being in control of the encounter in the following. He broke serve three times to secure a 4-3(2), 4-1, 4-3(5) victory in one hour and 17 minutes. The Croat took the lead in Group B.