Next Gen Finals kicking off
Day 1 of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan passed off without any major surprise. In Group A, our outright Alex de Minaur beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in four sets. The Spaniard was competing very well in the first two sets and his flat hitting without much topspin really fits these fast indoor courts here. In the other match, Miomir Kecmanovic won in three close sets against Casper Ruud. The upcoming match between De Minaur and Kecmanovic could already be decisive for the outright on the Australian to win the group.
Group B had two four-setters yesterday with Mikael Ymer beating Ugo Humbert, who was far from his best and also had to take an MTO, and Italian teen sensation Jannik Sinner bouncing back after losing the first set against Frances Tiafoe.
Contrast in Style
The match between Tiafoe and Sinner was arguably the best match of the day. The American played some good tennis, but ran into a red hot Sinner. The Italian offered everything people rate him for: an aggressive game from the baseline, a great serve and serenity on court. The latter really is second to none for players in his age group.
Mikael Ymer was looking good against Humbert as well. The Swede came out on top of almost every rallye, but also benefited from the Frenchman's various unforced errors. Ymer's game is based on involving his opponents in rallyes and counterpunching from the baseline. He does that really well, but always relies on an attackable opponent.
Surface Advantage Sinner
Even at the age of 18, I don't regard Sinner as such. The Italian appears composed in every situation and always comes up with an answer, even in longer rallies. I'm not sure many of them will happen on these fast indoor courts though. Sinner clearly has the bigger weapons including a much better serve and it will be a tough task for Ymer to even keep this close.
The match will be the last one played today and with the Italian crowd support, this could be a pretty one-sided affair. Therefore, I'm betting Jannik Sinner on the -2.5 games handicap.