The first match at the NextGen Finals in Milan was a very good start to the weeks proceeding at the Allianz Cloud.
Casper Ruud came up against Miomir Kecmanovic in the first match of Group A.
Just a reminder of some key rules from the competition;
- no line judges – all electronic calls
- no ad, deciding point is receivers choice
- at 3-3 we go to a tiebreak to 7
I was impressed with both guys who set out their stall nicely.
Casper Ruud is the more defensive of the two players and finds most of his joy when he can hit the inside-out forehand. We saw him use this shot and progress up the court nicely during the match.
He did show us some solid backhands but there were issues especially in the first set where he sent the backhand a bit short and Kecmanovic jumped on it.
The Serb impressed me a lot. I liked the way he orchestrated his way around the court. His big weapon as well was his forehand. He got a lot more joy off the backhand and played bigger points well.
After losing the first set Casper on the headset was given advice from his dad to move more towards his forehand more. He did this and continued to serve well.
The Norwegian did find his way ahead in the second set tie-break and was continuing the press and go forward which was a good idea but over hit a couple with Miomir taking a two sets to love lead.
At 2-2 the Serb orchestrated himself a break point following some predictable net approach play from the Norweigan and would go on to serve for the match.
A very good start from Miomir winning 4-3 4-3 4-2 and looking very strong to begin the week in Milan.
Despite a straight sets defeat the performance Casper Ruud was very good and something to build on and learn from going forward.