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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


Home soil proved to be the key for NextGen and seventh seed Italian Wild Card Jannik Skinner at this seasons ATP Tour NextGen year-end finals in Milan, Italy last week. The eighteen year-old Italian only made it in to the tournament and draw due to Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov not taking part last week and the Scan Dido resident grabbed his opportunity with both hands by winning Group B, just ahead of the higher ranked favourite Tiafoe, then beating the higher ranked Kecmanovic in Friday’s semi-finals and he saved his best performance for the final thrashing top-seed and tournament favourite, De Minaur in Saturday’s final 4-2 4-1 4-2, which landed the young Italian his first ATP main tour title in the process.

The tennis action continues this week at the ATP Tour Finals in London, England and the highlight will be the the battle for the world number one ranking between Nadal and Djokovic. The tournament features the worlds top eight ranked players, the format is a two-group round-robin system, the winner of Group A plays the runner-up of group B and vice versa in Saturday’s semi-finals and the final will be decided on Sunday. Group A, or the Andre Agassi Group, is headed by current World number one and top-seed Nadal, fourth seed and ATP Tour Finals debutant Medvedev, sixth seed and ATP Tour finalist debutant Tsitsipas and finally, seventh seed and reigning ATP Tour Finals champion Zverev.

Group B, or the Bjorn Borg Group, is headed by second seed and five-time ATP Tour Finals winner Djokovic, six-time ATP Tour Finals winner Federer, fifth seed Thiem and eighth seed Berrettini. The action kicked off yesterday with the opening two tournament matches from Group B between Group B favourite Djokovic and eighth seed Berrettini, which Djokovic won easily 6-2 6-1 and in the second Group B match, fifth seed Thiem caused the first upset of the tournament beating Federer 7-5 7-5.

Today’s action features two games from Group A starting with a top class NextGen battle between fifth seed Medvedev and sixth seed Tsitsipas. Medvedev is the favourite to record a sixth straight win against Tsitsipas and the Russian number one will hope for a repeat of his straight sets win at this seasons Shanghai Masters 1000 Series. The evening game is another elite encounter between top seed Nadal and seventh seed Zverev and Nadal should record a sixth straight win against Zverev, however, there is the small chance of an upset as Nadal’s record at this event is not the best, while Zverev was imperious marching to last season’s title and repeat of that type of form today will make Nadal’s life very difficult.


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