Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Medjedovic Sets Fils Final After Stricker Retires

Serbian will face Fils in final

Hamad Medjedovic advanced to the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM title match on Friday when Dominic Stricker was forced to retire in the second set due to a back injury in the pair’s semi-final.

Medjedovic was leading Stricker 4-3(5), 2-1 when the Swiss walked to the net and ended the clash. The 20-year-old Medjedovic struck 12 winners and three unforced errors during the 32 minutes they were on court before the match came to an early close.

Medjedovic, who went 3-0 in the round-robin stage on debut in Jeddah, will face top seed Arthur Fils in the title match. Both are looking to become the sixth champions at the 21-and-under event, joining previous winners Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

In a heavy-hitting first set, both players took large cuts at the ball to try and dictate, with serve dominating on the fast courts. Medjedovic won 93 per cent (14/15) of his first-serve points in the opener with Stricker not losing a point behind his first delivery (11/11). With little to separate them, Medjedovic produced his best level in the tie-break, hitting through the Swiss lefty to lead.

The 20-year-old then earned an early break at the start of the second set before Stricker retired.

Medjedovic, who is coached by former-World No. 12 Viktor Troicki, has enjoyed a standout season. The Serbian reached tour-level semi-finals in Gstaad and Astana and won three ATP Challenger Tour events.

Stricker was making his second appearance at the Next Gen ATP Finals. The 21-year-old Swiss, who reached the fourth round at the US Open, also fell at the semi-final stage in 2022.

Image credits: ATP Tour

Originally published at: ATP Tour



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