Match Report

Stricker Races Past Nardi For Record-Breaking First Jeddah Win

Swiss improves to 1-1 in Green Group
November 29, 2023
Dominic Stricker in action on Wednesday in Jeddah. By ATP Staff

After a disappointing start to his Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM campaign, Dominic Stricker wasted little time bouncing back on Wednesday in Jeddah.

The third-seeded Swiss eased past Italian Luca Nardi 4-1, 4-1, 4-2 with a clean-hitting performance inside King Abdullah Sports City. Having struggled to find his best level in his opening match against Nardi’s countryman Flavio Cobolli, Stricker powered 13 winners, including three aces, and converted four of six break points he earned for a comprehensive 54-minute triumph, the fastest match in tournament history.

“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today,” said Stricker in his on-court interview. “I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe wasn’t my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I’m just happy that I did it and now I’m going to try my best to recover for the third group match.”

With a reduced shot clock in place as part of the innovative rules at this edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals, Nardi was unable to stem Stricker’s momentum in the pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. The Swiss player also crucially saved all four break points he faced, including one at 3-2, 40/40 which also doubled as his own match point.

“Everything [clicked], I would say. I played a really good match from the start onwards,” said Stricker. “The last game was tough. If I’d lost that point I know that everything could have changed quickly, so I’m happy to get through so fast in three sets. I really played an amazing match.”

Now 1-1 in Green Group, the 21-year-old Sticker will next take on top seed Arthur Fils as he chases a second consecutive semi-final appearance at the 21-and-under event. The World No. 94 is in Saudi Arabia looking to cap a strong year during which he made his maiden fourth-round appearance at the US Open.

Physicality Index Insights
This has been the least physical match of the tournament so far, where both players had Physical Index ratings of 5.3. This was largely due to the fact that there were only 92 points played in the entire match, with an active ball-in-play time of less than 12 minutes. If you combined both players' distances together in this match, it would not even equal 1.4 kilometers, which was the distance threshold we identified as the red zone for Stricker in this match. Stricker did not have the opportunity to push Nardi into the high speed distance because the average rally length was only three shots, one shot below the Tour average of four.

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