With his position atop the Red Group already secured at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, Dominic Stricker stayed red-hot on Thursday in Milan with his third victory in as many days. The Swiss earned a 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 victory against Chun-Hsin Tseng to maintain his perfect record in the group stage, finalising at 3-0.

“It was not easy for me to come out here and play my best again because mentally, of course you’re already thinking a bit more of tomorrow, of the semis,” Stricker said post-match. “But I think handled it very well, I played a great match and I’m super happy with my performance. Now I can think all about tomorrow.”

He will next face Jiri Lehecka, who finished in second place in the Green Group, in Friday’s semi-finals.

Each of the first eight sets Stricker played were decided by tie-breaks, including all five against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti on Wednesday evening. But the 20-year-old quickly broke that pattern against Tseng in a match he dominated from start to finish.

Stricker broke at the first opportunity in each set and did not face a break point in sets two and three. The opening set was the most competitive, with Tseng closing to 2-3 by converting on his fifth break point, only to surrender serve — and the set — in the very next game.

“I think my serve again was very good today. It helped me a lot,” he said, one day after hitting a tournament-record 20 aces against Musetti. “My forehand was working great. I took the second serve pretty early. It helped me to keep the upper hand in the rallies. I’m super happy. He’s such a great player, he’s never losing the baseline, he’s such a great competitor. But I’m super happy with my game today and let’s hope the best for tomorrow.”

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Stricker finished with 24 winners in the 56-minute match, the only contest on the week to finish in under an hour.

The sixth-seeded Tseng, who won the opening set against Jack Draper on Wednesday, was the second Asian player to compete at the Intsa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals after Hyeon Chung won the 2017 title in the event’s first edition.

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