Make no mistake, Alex “Demon” De Minaur is the comprehensive favorite to take home this year’s Next Gen ATP Finals title. Last year’s finalist, the comically quick Australian enters the tournament at a career high No. 18 in the world, having won all three of his ATP Titles in 2019 (Sydney, Atlanta, and Zhuhai).

De Minaur made quick work of Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Tuesday morning, and will face off against popular dark-horse pick Miomir Kecmanovic on Wednesday in the second round-robin stage.

The 20-year-old Kecmanovic got off to a smashing start in Milan, dispatching Casper Ruud in straight sets 4-3 (5), 4-3 (5), 4-2. The Serbian made his formal introduction to the ATP earlier this year in March, where he reached the Indian Wells quarterfinal. He then made his official breakthrough in Cincinnati where he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev en route to a fourth round appearance.

Advertising

De Minaur stretches for a backhand in his opening round win over Davidovich Fokina in Milan- Getty Images

Kecmanovic is extremely strong and rock-solid from the ground. The Serb climbed from No. 126 in the world in January all the way to No. 47 in September.

De Minaur and Kecmnanovic have never played before, but expect a war from the back of the court. Both players’ strength is their movement; they love to hug the baseline and take time away from their opponent.

The no-ad scoring format favors the Australian, who ranks in the top-10 in break points converted on the season with 42.26%. At 30-all, one shot from De Minaur could earn himself two break points. Kecmanovic will need to serve just as well as he did on Tuesday where he won 92% of his first service points, to stand a chance against the tournament favorite.