De Min­aur to fight for fi­nal spot

NT News - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIAN ten­nis whizkid Alex de Min­aur will go into the last 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,” the 19-year-old 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.”

The Syd­ney-born star had al­ready booked his spot in the semi-fi­nals with a four-set win over 2017 run­ner-up An­drey Rublev.

De Min­aur, the 21-an­dun­der tour­na­ment’s youngest en­trant, now faces sixth-seeded Spa­niard Jaume Mu­nar for a place in the fi­nal.

His clean sweep of the round-robin stage has taken his sea­son earn­ings past $US1 mil­lion ($A1.4 mil­lion).

But he 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.

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