Tsit­si­pas shrugs off freak in­jury to reach Next Gen fi­nal

Oman Daily Observer - - TENNIS / BASKETBALL -

MI­LAN: Top seeded Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas shrugged off a freak hand in­jury to reach the Next Gen ATP Fi­nals cham­pi­onship match with a 4-3 (7/3), 3-4 (5/7), 4-0, 2-4, 4-3 (7/2) win over An­drey Rublev on Fri­day.

Greek world num­ber 15 Tsit­si­pas needed med­i­cal treat­ment af­ter drop­ping serve in the fifth game of the de­cider when he an­grily de­mol­ished the court­side head­set that play­ers use to com­mu­ni­cate with their coaches.

Tsit­si­pas, with his pride bruised slightly more than his hand, even­tu­ally gath­ered him­self to sweep to vic­tory and move within one match of se­cur­ing his sec­ond ca­reer ti­tle hav­ing cap­tured his first in Stock­holm last month.

“It was a roller­coaster match and I got very frus­trated with all the breaks of serve I suf­fered,” said Tsit­si­pas, one of the sport’s most im­proved play­ers hav­ing fin­ished run­ner-up to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona and Toronto this sea­son.

In Satur­day’s fi­nal, he will face Aus­tralian teenager Alex de Min­aur af­ter the sec­ond seed claimed a 3-4 (5/7), 4-1, 4-1, 3-4 (4/7), 4-2 vic­tory over Spain’s Jaume Mu­nar.

De Min­aur, 19, be­gan the sea­son at num­ber 208 in the world rank­ings and reached a ca­reer-high 31 last month.

De Min­aur is now an im­pres­sive 28-22 on the year af­ter en­ter­ing 2018 with just two tour-level match wins to his record.

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