With his position atop the Red Group already secured at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, Dominic Stricker stayed red-hot in Milan on Thursday with his third win in as many days. The Swiss took a 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 win against Chun-Hsin Tseng to maintain his perfect record in the group stage, finishing 3-0.
“It was not easy for me to come out here and play my best again, because mentally you are already thinking a bit more about tomorrow, about the semi-finals,” Stricker said after the game. “But I think I handled it very well. I played a great game and I’m super happy with my performance. Now I can fully think about tomorrow.”
He then takes on Jiri Lehecka, who finished in second place in the Green Group, in Friday’s semi-final.
Each of the first eight sets Stricker played was decided by tiebreaks, including all five against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti on Wednesday night. But the 20-year-old quickly broke that pattern against Tseng in a match he dominated from start to finish.
Stricker broke into every set at the first opportunity and didn’t have to deal with a breaking point in sets two and three. The opening set was the most competitive, with Tseng closing the 2-3 by converting on his fifth break point, then giving up the serve – and the set – in the next game.
“I think my serve was very good again today. It helped me a lot,” he said a day after setting a tournament record of 20 aces against Musetti. “My forehand worked great. I got the second serve quite early. It helped me to keep the upper hand in the rallies. I’m super happy. He’s such a great player, he never loses the baseline, he’s such a great competitor But I’m super happy with my game today and let’s hope for the best for tomorrow.”
Stricker finished with 24 winners in the 56-minute game, the only game of the week to finish within an hour.
Sixth-seeded Tseng, who won the opening set from Jack Draper on Wednesday, became the second Asian player to compete in the Intsa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals after Hyeon Chung won the 2017 title at the inaugural edition of the event.