The 2018 ATP Tour NextGen Finals in Milan, Italy for players aged 21 years and younger concluded yesterday and the cream rose to the top as top seed and tournament favourite Tsitsipas from Greece won the title with a perfect 5-0 match win record. Tsitsipas defeated second seed De Minaur 3-1 yesterday to land the title and it was a fitting deciding match, as both players had also won ATP Tour Awards for 2018 during the week. Tsitsipas not surprisingly won the Most Improved Player of 2018 award and De Minaur won the Newcomer of the Year Award.
2018 was a breakthrough year for both players and big things will be expected of them in 2019. However, it’s notoriously difficult to back that up the following year for numerous reasons and only the very best tend to buck this trend and of the current crop of NextGen stars Tsitsipas looks like a player who has the potential to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokoivc.
The ATP Tour Finals at the O2 Arena kicked off today and there were two matches from the Hewitt Group. First up, fourth seed Anderson was impressive beating sixth seed Thiem in straight sets 6-3 7-6 and I expect he will pose a serious challenge to any of his potential future opponents this week. The night match between second seed Federer and seventh seed Nishikori provided the first major upset of the tournament as the Japanese star produced an accomplished attacking performance to defeat an out of sorts Federer, who could never get in to his normal effortless rhythm.
Today’s two matches from the Kuerten group are between fifth seed Cilic and third seed Zverev and top seed Djokovic and eighth seed Isner. If things go to form Zverev should be too good for Cilic as the young German leads the head-to-head 5-1 and the same applies to the Djokovic and Isner match, because the world number one leads their head-to-head 7-2 and of course he’s the best player on the planet at present.