Van Assche on verge of qualification for Next Gen semi-finals, beats Michelsen in epic

Luca van Assche took a big step towards sealing his place in the final four

Luca van Assche Luca van Assche (Tennis TV)
Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM •group-stage • completed
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Luca van Assche came back from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (0), 3-4 (4), 3-4 (4), 4-1, 4-3 (6).

It was something of an epic, running to two hours and 36 minutes, with four of the five sets going to a tiebreak – including the decider, in which Michelsen saved two match points.

“It was a very tough match, I am so happy to be through today,” said the Frenchman afterwards. “It was very difficult – there were four tiebreaks in the match so it was really, really close!”

He will progress to the semi-final assuming that Abdullah Shelbayh does not beat Hamad Medjedovic in four sets (if the wild card wins in three or five sets, van Assche’s qualification is assured, as it is if Medjedovic wins by any scoreline).

Michelsen knew that if he dropped the fourth set he would mathematically no longer be able to qualify for the semi-finals, and he looked a little nervy, making six unforced errors and his serve broken twice.

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