Australian number one Alex de Minaur has continued his impressive unbeaten run at the ATP Next Gen finals, powering past Casper Ruud in straight sets to cruise into the semi-finals in Milan.
- The ATP Next Gen finals is a tournament for the best young male tennis players aged 21 and under
- At 20 years old, Australia’s Alex de Minaur — ranked number 18 in the world — has reached the Next Gen semis for the second successive year
- He will play American world number 47 Frances Tiafoe for a place in the final
World number 18 de Minaur, who is the tournament’s top seed, smashed 23 winners in the 4-1, 4-0, 4-2 victory.
The win saw his Norwegian opponent eliminated from the round-robin event where sets are won by the first to take four games.
“I knew from playing Casper before that he’d dictate any short ball without a purpose,” De Minaur said after his win.
“The game plan was to play on my own terms, play aggressively, play different styles of tennis and it sort of worked.
“The goal I had was [to take] any half-chance, go up and back myself at the net.
“I’m glad I was able to execute and worked out today. I’m looking forward to the semi-finals.”
Ruud won the opening game of the match before de Minaur rattled off the next nine games in a row to take control — he only lost four points on serve in the opening two sets.
The victory ensured Sydneysider de Minaur, 20, who finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas at last year’s tournament, has gone through undefeated 3-0 in round-robin play for the second successive year.
The tournament is a season-ending event for the best players aged 21 and under.
The Australian went into Next Gen finals in solid form, after reaching the final of the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel a fortnight ago, where he lost to Roger Federer.
De Minaur will face American Frances Tiafoe for a place in the final.
Tiafoe defeated Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in straight sets, 4-2, 4-2, 4-2 to earn in his spot in the last four.
Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic secured his semi-final berth with a 4-1, 4-1, 4-3 (6/4) win over Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
De Minaur had beaten Kecmanovic 4-1, 4-3 (7/4), 1-4, 4-0 in Milan the previous day.
The last semi-final berth went to Italian wild-card Jannik Sinner. He will play Kecmanovic to decide who reaches the final.