Tsitsipas to face De Minaur for Next Gen Finals trophy
MILAN (AP) — Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece will face Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the championship match of the Next Gen Finals on Saturday.
Both players had only dropped a set apiece in their first three matches at the tournament but each needed five sets to win their respective semifinals on Friday.
“I know it is going to be tough, so I’m going to have to be prepared for that. I’m going to have to be 100 percent,” Tsitsipas said.
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.
Tsitsipas, who is ranked No. 15 in the world, beat 2017 runner-up Andrey Rublev 4-3 (3), 3-4 (5), 4-0, 2-4, 4-3 (2).
The 20-year-old Tsitsipas, who had medical treatment on his left hand during the fourth set, had only dropped one of 30 service games in the tournament prior to the semifinal but was broken three times by Rublev.
De Minaur saved all five break points he faced in his victory over Jaume Munar 3-4 (5), 4-1, 4-1, 3-4 (4), 4-2.
The second-seeded De Minaur wasted four successive match points at the end of the fourth set and Munar saved another on his service in the fifth but the 19-year-old booked his place in the final on his sixth opportunity.
De Minaur has climbed more than 170 ranking spots since December, up to No. 31.