Next Generation ATP Finals favourite Alex de Minaur started his 2019 campaign with a victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Milan.
De Minaur lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year’s final and is the highest-ranked player competing this time around.
The Australian needed four sets to overcome Alejandro Davidovich 4-2 3-4 (5-7) 4-1 4-1 in Group A.
De Minaur, ranked 18th and a three-time winner on the ATP Tour this year, won eight of the final nine games to wrap up the match in style.
— Next Gen ATP Finals (@nextgenfinals) November 5, 2019
“I just had to get in my head that I played a good second set,” said De Minaur. “He just came up with big shots in big moments.
“I had to move on and remember what I was doing well the whole match. I felt a lot more comfortable as soon as I got the break [in the third set].”
In the same pool, Miomir Kecmanovic claimed a straight-sets victory over Casper Ruud.
There was only one break of serve in the whole contest, which the Serbian won 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (7-5) 4-2.
In Group B, Swede Mikael Ymer sealed a 4-3 (7-2) 1-4 4-2 4-1 triumph over Ugo Humbert, and Jannik Sinner closed Tuesday’s play by coming from a set down to beat Frances Tiafoe 3-4 (4-7) 4-2 4-2 4-2.