MILAN, November 9, 2017
Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev headlined the action on the final day of the Group Stage at the Next Gen ATP Finals, battling for a spot in the semis in Milan on Thursday. The top seeded Russian eventually emerged victorious 4-1, 3-4(8), 4-3(2), 0-4, 4-3(3).
Rublev won six points less than his opponent from Canada but was wide awake in the decisive moments of the tie-break in the final set to prevail after two hours and one minute.
“It was really tough in the group, and I’m really happy that I go through it and I’m in the semi-final,” Rublev told afterwards.
“With these rules, anyone can beat anyone. You have to be focused 100 per cent since the beginning, because even if you’re winning, suddenly in one, two minutes you can start to lose easily.
“So here everything is so fast. Matches go really fast, and in the end, I guess I was just a little bit lucky twice times in the fifth set and the tiebreak. That’s it.”
Shapovalov has finished his season in Milan.
“It has been an incredible season for me but also very long year. It’s a pity to lose but I am also happy to head home right now, regroup and train harder than anyone else in the off-season to come back strong next year,” Shapovalov told afterwards.
Chung Remains Undefeated
Earlier in the day, Hyeon Chung, who had already been guaranteed a spot in Friday’s
semi-finals, finished 3-0 in Gruop A but had to fight hard to overcome Italian wild card entry Gianluigi Quinzi 1-4, 4-1, 4-2, 3-4(6), 4-3(3) in his last round robin match.
“I’m trying to enjoy on the court and trying to play my 100% all the time. I think I’m just playing better and better every day,” Chung has been happy with his performance this week so far.
“It was not easy today. I played him before in juniors, and he has a good baseline game. I just tried to stay calm to play all my best.”
Chung also has a favourite in terms of the 10 new rules, designed to enhance the experience of the audience on-site and across all broadcast and digital platforms.
“I like the shot clock,” the 21-year-old Korean told in his post-match press conference. “Because sometimes I got a warning, as I have to clean my glasses. So I got the warning all the time in a long match. I like the shot clock,” Chung was smirking.
Medvedev And Coric Advance To Semis
In Group B, Daniil Medvedev defeated Jared Donaldson from the United States 3-4(3), 4-2, 4-3(1), 4-0. The 21-year-old Russian sent down six aces, winning 72 per cent of his first service points to secure victory in one hour and 28 minutes.
“It was a very tough match. Jared had nothing to lose, so he was hitting all the balls full power and putting a lot of them in. I was even a little bit frustrated and panicking, but I’m very happy that I managed to stay in the match and to win it in four sets,” Medvedev said.
The Moscow native is also a fan of the shot clock, having a clear statement.
“I got some time violations in my career, but sometimes you walk around, start to bounce the ball, you get a violation. I don’t have a timer in my head to see it was already 25 seconds. So here it’s pretty fair. If you get a time violation, you can see this, so it’s your fault. That’s what I want to see on ATP Tour.”
Donaldson was understandably not in his best mood after finishing the week with only clinching one set. “This week was very bad for me. These guys are obviously just better than I am,” the 21-year-old US-American sounded upset.
“I do not want to blame it on the format. It’s still tennis. Same rules for everyone. I just lost. I need to work on everything. Nothing is really good in my game right now. There were ups and down during the season and there will be a re-start next year.”
Karen Khachanov needed to beat Borna Coric in three or four sets in the final match of the day but the Croat rallied back from two sets down to seal a 3-4, 2-4, 4-2, 4-0, 4-2 victory in one hour and 49 minutes. Coric will face Rublev and Chung will take on Medvedev.