Next Gen ATP Finals: Andrey Rublev and Hyeon Chung set the title match

Tennis - Russian took down Coric in 3 sets while Korean had to play 5 sets against Medvedev

by Jovica Ilic
Next Gen ATP Finals: Andrey Rublev and Hyeon Chung set the title match

The top seed and the second youngest player in the draw, Andrey Rublev, saved his best tennis for the semi-final round, ousting Borna Coric by 4-1 4-3 4-1 in 62 minutes to book the place in the final of the Next Gen ATP Finals. Andrey served at 70% and he kept things under control in his games, dropping just 13 points in total and saving a lone break point to sail through his service games intact, holding the pressure on the other side of the net.

Borna struggled to make an impact with his second serve, losing 12 out of 16 points after missing the first, and he lost his serve twice from 3 break points he gave to the Russian. Croat fought well in the second set, holding without any troubles and being 2 points away from the set in the tie break, at 5-5 and 6-6, but Andrey scored the crucial mini-break in the 13th point to clinch the breaker by 8-6 and take a big lead, bringing the match home after the next set.

The Russian finished the match with 17 winners and just 8 unforced errors while Coric stood on a negative 12-14 ratio, missing equally from both wings. Also, Andrey had the advantage in both the shortest and medium rallies to emerge as a deserved winner and stay on a course of becoming the first Next Gen ATP champion.

It was a slow start from Coric, who got broken in game 2 after a double fault, and he was given no chance to pull the break back, as Andrey closed the set with 2 holds at love for a 4-1. Moscow native blasted 2 forehand winners in that 5th game and clinched the set with a service winner after just 14 minutes.

4 games of the second set saw 30-30 result but there were no break points, Borna served at 80% and that was more than enough to bypass the troubles he had on his second serve. They traded 6 mini-breaks in the opening 8 points to stay locked at 4-4, and the pivotal moment came in the 13th point when Borna sent an easy forehand long to fall 7-6 behind.

Rublev converted this set point thanks to a good forehand attack that Coric failed to control. The third set was pretty much the copy of the first, Borna suffered a break when he netted a backhand in the second game and that sealed his fate in this match.

Andrey held after a deciding point in the next game to materialize the break and move 3-0 ahead, and that was the first and only chance for Borna to create some damage on the return. Serving for the match, Rublev blasted 4 winners in game 5 to clinch the triumph in the best possible way, looking to bring this kind of tennis tomorrow against Chung as well.

Hyeon Chung came to Milan as one of the favorites and he remains the only undefeated player so far, after a hard-fought 4-1 4-1 3-4 1-4 4-0 triumph over Daniil Medvedev in an hour and 51 minutes. Korean had a chance to clinch the win much earlier, with a 2-0 lead in the third set, but Medvedev started to play with more desire in the next 30 minutes or so, winning the third set tie break and overcoming an early deficit at the start of the 4th to force the deciding set.

There, Chung finally regained his supremacy, sailing through the 5ht set to set up a final meeting with Rublev, whom he beat 4-0 4-1 4-1 in the round robin stage. It was a solid match overall, with both players hitting more winners than unforced errors, and the returners for sure had their chances, with 24 break points up for grabs! Chung saved 10 out of 13 to limit the damage in his games and Daniil couldn't do the same, dropping serve 7 times from 11 chances he offered to Chung.

Korean saved a break point in the opening game with a service winner and he quickly found the rhythm from the baseline, breaking Medvedev at love in game 4 to create a 3-1 gap. From 30-0 down, he won the next 4 points to wrap up the set in the 5th game, and he continued in the same style in set number 2.

Medvedev double faulted in the third game to hand his serve and Hyeon moved 4-1 4-1 ahead with another break in game 5 when the Russian netted a backhand. Daniil had a chance to turn the things around at the start of the third set but Hyeon saved all 4 break points in the opening game to avoid the break, and he was rewarded in the very next game.

He broke Medvedev at 15 after another wide shot from the Russian, and it seemed that this match will not last for too long now. Instead of that, Daniil found the strength to fight back, pulling the break back in game 3 to get back on the scoreboard.

They served well in the remaining games to set up a tie break, and Medvedev grabbed it by 7-4, firing 2 service winners to take the set and remain in the final chase. Chung stayed focused and he broke at the start of the 4th set, following a huge forehand error from Medvedev, but just like in the third set he couldn't stay in front.

Medvedev broke back in the next game to level the score at 1-1, and things looked better and better for him when he broke again in game 4 to open a 3-1 gap. An amazing forehand winner gave Medvedev the set when he won the deciding point in game 5, and the winner of this interesting encounter had to be determined in the tie 5th set.

Chung lost his ground a little bit in the last 2 sets but he was more focused in the decider, claiming it by 4-0 to book the place in the final. He broke in game 2 after a solid backhand attack and the pivotal moment was the next game when he saved 4 break points to materialize the break and move closer to the finish line.

Chung sealed the deal with a forehand winner in game 4, breaking Medvedev for the second time to clinch the win and keep his perfect score so far in Milan. Semi-final results:


Atp Finals Andrey Rublev Hyeon Chung