Sinner beats De Minaur to win Next Gen ATP Finals

Milan (AFP) –


Italian teenager Jannik Sinner downed top-seed Australian Alex de Minaur in straight sets to win the Next Gen ATP Finals on home soil in Milan on Saturday.

The 18-year-old Sinner, an eighth-seeded wildcard, saved nine break points to win 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 in just over an hour against 18th-ranked De Minaur, who also lost last year's final to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The tournament, which began in 2017, features the eight best players aged 21-and-under on the ATP Tour.

The top two players in the category are absent, with Greece's Tsitsipas playing the ATP Tour Finals in London next week, while world number 15 Denis Shapovalov withdrew from Milan after reaching last weekend's Paris Masters final.

It was the first meeting between De Minaur and Sinner, ranked 95.

But the Italian, the youngest competitor in this year's tournament, brushed aside his Australian rival dubbed 'Speed Demon'.

Sinner broke to love in the sixth game of the first set and staved off break points on his serve in the first game of the second set.

Hitting two aces he converted three of his eight break point chances to wrap up the match to love when De Minaur hit a return of serve into the net.

After starting the year ranked at 551, the player from northern Italy, has broken into the top 100.

He also beat another top 20 ranked player France's Gael Monfils last month en route to the semi-finals in Antwerp.

Sinner's winnings for the week over $372,000 overtake his career earnings of $274,470 so far.

The Next Gen tournament also offers a chance to test new innovations. Matches are played in three winning sets with four games, and at tie-break at 3-3.

Coaching is allowed using headphones with hawk-eye replacing line judges.

The let returned this year having being eliminated in the two previous editions.