Local tennis star Alejandro Davidovich failed to repeat his Liuzhou Challenger victory at the ATP Next Gen tournament in Milan, where he was eliminated after losing group stage matches against Álex de Miñaur, Casper Ruud and Miomir Kecmanović.
The Next Gen tournament brings together the eight best under-21 players in the world. It is in its third edition this year, with both previous tournaments also having been played in Milan.
Davidovich went into his first match on Tuesday as the clear underdog, facing the world number 18 Álex de Miñaur. After a fairly evenly balanced first two sets, each player taking one, Davidovich crumbled, allowing De Miñaur to walk the last two sets, giving the Australian a comfortable (4-2, 3-4, 4-1, 4-1) victory.
On Wednesday he lost a five set encounter (4-3, 3-4, 2-4, 4-3, 4-1) to the Norwegian Ruud, which left him on the edge of elimination before his encounter with Kecmanović, a native of Serbia,which he also lost (4-1, 4-1, 4-3) on Thursday.
The tournament is notable for its distinctive format, with a three-match group stage followed by semi-finals featuring the group winners and runners-up, before the final. Furthermore each set is won by the best of four, rather than six, games.
Other efforts to increase the speed of the game include the elimination of advantage after deuce. Players are also able to communicate with their coaches via headsets at the end of each set, and the conversations are broadcast to the crowd.