Saturday, June 22, 2024

Next Gen ATP Finals: Medjedovic advance in semis with Van Assche

Hamad Medjedovic put himself in a commanding position in the Red Group after he completed a perfect 3-0 group campaign to soar into the semi-finals, winning his first two matches at the Next Gen ATP Finals on Thursday, here at King Abdullah Sports City.

The Serbian’s 3-4(6), 4-2, 4-3(5), 4-2 victory against Abdullah Shelbayh earned him a first-place finish in the Red Group and also qualified Luca Van Assche at Shelbayh’s expense. Entering the match, Medjedovic needed to win at least a set to advance to the semis, while Arab hope Shelbayh needed a victory in three or four sets.

“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set,” said Medjedovic in his on-court interview. “He’s a good friend of mine, he’s a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of (the crowd).”

The semi-final stage is now set in Jeddah: As winner of the Red Group, Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker on Friday. Van Assche, the second-place finisher in the Red Group, will meet Green Group winner Arthur Fils.

“I’ve known Dominic for a long time,” said Medjedovic. “He’s a great player and a great guy obviously. I think it’s going to be a great match and I’m happy to be in the semis.”

Medjedovic will hope to continue his stellar serving in the knockout rounds. He hit 18 aces on Thursday against Shelbayh and won 88 per cent of his first-serve points, saving all three break points against him. Across his three group-stage matches, he fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken just twice.

“After the first match I started feeling really good on the court,” added the Serbian, who said he quickly adapted to the new rules at the Next Gen ATP Finals. “I think each match I’m playing better and better.”

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