Next Gen Finals: Frances Tiafoe sinks Mikael Ymer to earn semi-final berth

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Next Gen Finals: Frances Tiafoe sinks Mikael Ymer to earn semi-final berth

After failing to pass the round-robin stage in Milan a year ago, the 2nd seed Frances Tiafoe is through to the semi-final at the Next Gen Finals, defeating Mikael Ymer 4-2, 4-2, 4-2 in 66 minutes. The American fended off all four break chances and earned one break in each set to go through in straight sets despite winning only six points more the Swede who played his last match at this event.

Settling into a fine rhythm, Frances served well in the first set and grabbed a break in the fifth game following a loose forehand from Ymer, closing the set with a beautiful volley winner in the next game for a 4-2. Mikael sent a routine backhand wide in the first game of the second set to get broken again, facing three set points on his serve at 1-3 that he repelled with three winners, staying in the set and creating two break chances in the sixth game.

Tiafoe denied those to make a hold and take two sets to love lead, hoping to finish the job in three sets. After three comfortable holds at the beginning of the third set, Frances repelled a break chance with a forced error, breaking in the next game when Mikael placed a backhand long and preparing for the semi-final against Alex de Minaur after a service winner in game six.

In the second match of Group B, Jannik Sinner couldn't manage to march into the semis undefeated, losing to Ugo Humbert 4-3, 3-4, 4-2, 4-2 in an hour and 43 minutes. The Frenchman ended the competition with a rock-solid victory, placing 21 winners and 16 unforced errors while Jannik counted to 30 mistakes, unable to pass his rival from the baseline but still finishing on 76 points, just like Ugo.

Firing 11 aces, Humbert repelled three out of four break chances, earning three breaks from four chances to leave Sinner behind and leave Milan with a win. The first set went into a tie break after six powerful holds, with Humbert who clinched it 7-5 after a forehand error from Sinner, sending the ball miles off.

They traded breaks in set number two and this time it was Jannik who grabbed it 7-3 after service winner to start all over. The Frenchman forced an error from an 18-year-old to forge the advantage at the beginning of the third set, bringing it home with a hold at love in game six to enter the fourth set as the favorite.

There, Jannik wasted three break chances, suffering a break at 1-1 and sending another backhand long after a deuce on the return at 2-3 to propel Ugo towards the triumph, hoping for a better performance against Miomir Kecmanovic in the semis on Friday.