De Minaur marches on in Next Gen finals

Alex de Minaur has chalked up his second win of the Next Gen ATP finals, beating Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic in Milan.

ALEX DE MINAUR of Australia plays Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.
ALEX DE MINAUR of Australia plays Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur has chalked up his second win of the Next Gen ATP finals, beating Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic 4-1 4-3 (7-4) 1-4 4-0 in Milan.

World No.18 de Minuar, who is the tournament's top seed, backed up his victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Monday in impressive fashion.

Next up he will face Norway's Casper Ruud as he looks to go undefeated in round-robin play for the second successive year after reaching the final of this tournament 12 months ago.

The 20-year-old was made to fight for his victory over the world No.60 from Belgrade who used the in-match coaching option before the second set after struggling in the opener.

The strategy worked as he applied pressure and broke de Minaur at 1-1, but with Kecmanovic serving for the set at 3-2, the Sydneysider ripped a forehand winner to level at 3-all.

De Minaur rode that momentum and dominated the tiebreak for a commanding 2-0 advantage.

Kecmanovic stuck to his tactics and was finally rewarded in the third set when he broke de Minaur at 2-1 and closed out the set.

However, the Aussie showed great composure to recover from that setback and produced some outstanding tennis in the fourth set, where he dropped just five points to seal the win in just under an hour-and-a-half.

"This is what you expect in these conditions," de Minaur said.

"A match can turn quickly. I didn't play badly, [but] he just played well in the important moments.

"I just had to regroup and stick to my game."

Rudd beat Fokina in a hard-fought five-setter to move to join Kecmanovic at 1-1 in Group A.

"Casper played a hell of a match today and it's going to be incredibly tough, but this is what we're here for," de Minaur said.

"Everyone is playing at a high level, so I have to be ready for it."


AAP