New record set at the Next Gen ATP Finals by Francesco Passaro and Matteo Arnaldi


After losing their respective opening matches at the Next Gen ATP Finals, compatriots Francesco Passaro and Matteo Arnaldi faced each other in a crucial group-stage encounter on Wednesday.

New record set at the Next Gen ATP Finals by Francesco Passaro and Matteo Arnaldi 3

Francesco Passaro lost his first match in the campaign against Jiri Lehecka in straight sets while Matteo Arnaldi went down fighting against the talented Brandon Nakashima. The Italians locked horns in Milan and both were in need of a win to stay alive in the competition. Both players took up the challenge and came out swinging. They gave their best efforts in testing conditions and produced a thriller that was eventually decided in five sets and in 2 hours and 43 minutes.

Passaro won the first set but Arnaldi bounced back strongly to win the next couple of sets. With his back against the wall, Passaro played a positive brand of tennis and won the match 4-3 (9-7), 2-4, 3-4 (4-7), 4-3 (7-4), 4-3 (10-8). The duration of the match set a new record at the Next Gen ATP Finals as it was the longest match in the history of the under-21 event, going past Lorenzo Musetti and Hugo Gaston’s marathon encounter from last year that lasted 2 hours and 33 minutes.

Passaro showed some great determination and clutch instincts to save three match points despite cramping up a little toward the later stages of the match.

What’s next for Francesco Passaro?

The world No. 119 – Francesco Passaro will lock horns with fourth seed Brandon Nakashima in their final group-stage encounter on Thursday.

Francesco Passaro (ATP Next Gen Finals – Twitter)

The talented American will have to win just one set to punch his ticket to the semifinals. If he gets beaten in straight sets, then also he can progress to the semis if Arnaldi gets the better of Jiri Lehecka in their final group game.

The group is intriguingly poised as all four players have a chance to get into the semis. Therefore, both matches will be watched with keen interest.

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