MILAN, November 9, 2019
Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner will compete in Saturday’s title match of the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals. Top seed De Minaur edged past No. 2 seeded US-American Frances Tiafoe 4-2, 4-1, 0-4, 4-2 in the stage of the final four.
The World No. 18 from Australia struck eight aces and won 70 per cent of his first-service points to advance to his second consecutive final in Milan after one hour and 13 minutes.
“It’s difficult, but easier in some ways [to play a friend]. It’s easy because you know that no matter what happens on the court, you’re still going to be the best of friends. In the same manner, you’ve got to remember that you’re opponents,” said De Minaur, who finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas last year at the Next Gen ATP Finals. “I’ve got to get in the zone, fired up and motivated, but it worked out today.
“It’s never easy playing someone like Frances. He has immense firepower and he’s never going to give up. I didn’t have my best third set, but I was able to bounce back and come up clutch in that last game.”
Now 8-1 at the @nextgenfinals. 👀
🇦🇺 @alexdeminaur beats Frances Tiafoe 4-2, 4-1, 0-4, 4-2.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 8, 2019
Later on Friday, Sinner defeated Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 2-4, 4-1, 4-2, 4-2. The wild card entry from Italy converted three of his eight break point chances to prevail after one hour and 15 minutes.
“It’s unbelievable. I didn’t feel so well in the beginning and he was playing very good, very aggressive. I’ve never had this kind of feeling, so I’m very happy,” Sinner said. “I think I’ve done a great job.”
De Minaur and Sinner will meet for the first time. “He played an unbelievable season,” Sinner said of his opponent. “He’s won three [ATP Tour] tournaments. I’ll just try my best.”