De Minaur scores third Next Gen Finals win
Australian tennis whiz-kid Alex de Minaur will go into the final four of the Next Gen ATP Finals undefeated after beating American Taylor Fritz.
Second seed de Minaur was at his gritty best to save five set points in a tiebreak and claim the opening set before running away with a 4-3 (10-8) 4-1 4-2 victory in his final group stage match in Paris.
‘‘I just had to dig deep,’’ de Minaur, 19, said after entering the semi-finals having dropped just one set.
‘‘I was down and out there and I managed to scrap my way (back) with a couple good returns and a couple long rallies.
‘‘I managed to get that one cheap point and was able to serve it out so that first set was crucial,’’ he said.
The Sydney-born star had already booked his spot in the semi-finals on Thursday with a four-set win against last year’s runner-up Andrey Rublev, after earlier thrashing Italian wildcard entrant Liam Caruana.
De Minaur, the 21-and-under tournament’s youngest entrant, now faces sixth-seeded Spaniard Jaume Munar for a place in the final.
His clean sweep of the roundrobin stage has taken his season earnings past $US1 million ($A1.4 million).
But the young gun could almost double his 2018 prize money in the next two days, with a $US407 000 payday on the cards if he finishes the tournament unbeaten.
First seed Stefanos Tsitsipas remained on course to potentially challenge de Minaur with a 4-1 4-3 (7-2) 4-1 win against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.
The Greek world No. 15 meets Rublev in the semi-finals after the Russian finished second in his group with a three-set win against last-placed Caruana.