MILAN. Tournament favorite Lorenzo Musetti was eliminated from the Next Gen ATP Finals after losing his last group match in straight sets to Jack Draper.
It took Draper, in third place, less than an hour to win 4-1, 4-0, 4-3 (3), despite playing in front of a partisan Musetti-supporting home crowd. Draper secured the win with his 12th ace of the match, scoring the first of three match points to secure a place in the semi-finals.
The British player will then face Brandon Nakashima of the USA, who defeated Francesco Passaro 4-3(4), 4-2, 4-1 to lead the Green Group 3-0.
Musetti was the top-seeded player in the year-ending under-21 tournament after Paris Masters champion Holger Rune withdrew from the ATP final.
In 23rd place, Musetti was also the only player out of eight to make it into the top 40.
With everyone in the red group winning and losing – and Dominic Stricker already securing the group victory – it was a winner-take-all match for Musetti and Draper.
In the other semi-final, Stricker will play Jiří Lehecká after the Czech player dispatched Matteo Arnaldi 4-3 (5), 4-1, 4-3 (4).
The Swiss striker maintained his flawless record by dispatching the already eliminated Zeng Chung-hsin 4-2, 4-1, 4-2.
This is the fifth edition of the event, featuring shorter sets of games from one to four and other experimental format changes. New rules for this edition include no substitutions after the first game of each set, and only one sit-in per set after three games; 15-second serving clock after aces, double faults and missed serves; and training during an opponent’s medical break or restroom break.
Draper, Nakashima in advance; Musetti eliminated from Next Gen finals originally appeared on NBCSports.com