MILAN — Top-seeded Alex de Minaur beat Frances Tiafoe at the Next Gen Finals on Friday to reach his second successive final in Milan.
The Australian overcame second-seeded Tiafoe 4-2, 4-1, 0-4, 4-2 in the first semifinal of the season-ending tournament for top under-21 players.
The 20-year-old De Minaur dominated the match but had to recover from losing the third set. He sealed the victory on his first match point when Tiafoe hit a forehand into the net.
“It’s never easy playing someone like Frances. He has immense firepower and he’s never going to give up,” said De Minaur, who has lost just one of his nine matches at the Next Gen Finals.
“I didn’t have my best third set, but I was able to bounce back and come up clutch in that last game.”
De Minaur and Tiafoe are good friends on the circuit and that was shown by the American giving De Minaur a friendly slap on the head as he walked off court after the defeat.
“It’s difficult, but easier in some ways,” De Minaur said about facing a friend. “It’s easy because you know that no matter what happens on the court, you’re still going to be the best of friends. In the same manner, you’ve got to remember that you’re opponents.”
De Minaur, who is ranked No. 18, will be looking for a fourth ATP Tour title after victories this year in Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai.
Italian wild card Jannik Sinner plays Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in the other semifinal at this year’s event, which features a unique format where each set is first to four games.
De Minaur lost the 2018 final in Milan to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”
PARIS — French Open debutant Peyton Stearns produced the biggest win of her career by defeating former champion Jelena Ostapenko to reach the third round at Roland Garros.
Stearns, a former player at the University of Texas, only turned professional in June last year.
Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open but has since failed to advance past the 3rd round. The 17th-seeded Latvian dropped her serve five times against Stearns and hit 28 unforced errors in her 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 loss.
The 21-year-old Stearns has been climbing the WTA rankings and entered the French Open at No. 69 on the back of an encouraging clay-court campaign.
Third-seeded Jessica Pegula also advanced after Camila Giorgi retired due to injury. The American led 6-2 when her Italian rival threw in the towel.
Only hours after husband Gael Monfils won a five-set thriller, Elina Svitolina rallied past qualifier Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In the men’s bracket, former runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The fifth-seeded Greek was a bit slow to find his range and was made to work hard for two sets but rolled on after he won the tiebreaker.
No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 3 Novak Djokovic are on court later. Alcaraz meets Taro Daniel on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Djokovic will follow against Martin Fucsovics in the night session.