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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Alex de Minaur to win Next Gen ATP Finals title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 10 Nov 2018
  • Tsitsipas defeats de Minaur to win 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals title
  • The Greek went 5-0 in Milan on his tournament debut
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates with the Next Gen ATP Finals winners trophy (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas has capped a stellar season by winning the second edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals, conquering Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in Sunday’s final in Milan.

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One year ago, Tsitsipas wasn’t even ranked high enough among his peers aged 21 years and younger to compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals. But fast forward 12 months and the top seed is taking home the silverware and $407,000 as an undefeated champion, improving his record to 5-0 in Milan as he came from a set down to beat de Minaur 2-4 4-1 4-3(3) 4-3(3).

"It feels great. I've been playing some great tennis this week here in Milan," Tsitsipas said. "It was a fantastic match. I stayed calm although I had a chance twice to win the match, but remained calm. I was aiming to win that match. I was mentally very strong and that was proven in the tie-break in the last set."

Beginning the season ranked No. 91 in the world with just four tour-level wins under his belt, Tsitsipas has soared to No. 15 following an extraordinary breakout season that has included winning his first ATP World Tour title in Stockholm and finishing runner-up at Barcelona and Canada Masters, the latter of which saw the Greek beat four top 10 players, including Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem.

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates with the winners trophy (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Tsitsipas has also made history for his native Greece, becoming the first player from his country to capture an ATP World Tour title.

The 20-year-old was forced to come from behind against de Minaur after the 19-year-old Australian came firing out of the blocks to claim the opening set. However, Tsitsipas showcased great mental fortitude to level the match in the second before emerging triumphant in two tiebreaks to close out the final.

Tsitsipas joins last year’s winner Hyeon Chung as an undefeated champion in Milan after beating Frances Tiafoe, Jaume Munar and Hubert Hurkacz in the round robin stage and Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals.

"I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity to play here in Milan and be the second winner of the tournament," Tsitsipas said. "It's a very special moment. I think I can get some confidence out of it and play better in the future."

Despite the disappointment of falling just short in the final, de Minaur signs off 2018 in successful fashion, making the title match on his debut in Milan, and at just 19 years of age, he will have another opportunity for success at the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2019. The Australian climbed from outside the top 200 at the beginning of 2018 to a career-high ranking of No. 31, highlighted by runner-up finishes in Sydney and Washington, a semi-final in Brisbane and third rounds at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up Andrey Rublev defeated Jaume Munar 1-4 4-3(4) 2-4 4-2 4-3(3) earlier on Sunday to win the third-place play-off.

Rublev, the first player from the Next Gen to reach a major quarter-final when he did so at the 2017 U.S. Open, came back from two-sets-to-one down to emerge victorious, just one day after pushing eventual champion Tsitsipas to five sets in the semi-finals.

“It’s nice to finish the season that strong mentally, I would say,” Rublev said. “I hope this is a new beginning for the next season.”


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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Alex de Minaur to win Next Gen ATP Finals title

Stefanos Tsitsipas has capped a stellar season by winning the second edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals, conquering Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in Sunday’s final in Milan.

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