Sinner stuns Tsitsipas

Jannik Sinner became the latest Italian to send shockwaves around the Foro Italico after he knocked No.3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas out of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 6-1 6-7(9) 6-2.

Sinner is no stranger to upsets at the Italian Open, on his debut last year he ousted Steve Johnson, a player ranked 204 places above him, before losing in straight sets to Tsitsipas in the second round.

It was a different story this year however as the 19-year-old world No.81 exacted his revenge over the Greek player who appeared flat and lacking in confidence throughout the two hour 13 minute encounter. Playing sublime tennis and dominating his own service games – the Italian wildcard dropped just two points in his first three service games – breaking Tsitsipas at the first attempt and then won seven straight games from 2-1.

At 6-1 5-2 it seemed as if the match was over but Tsitsipas had other ideas, regaining some of his trademark grit he fought his way back into the match by winning four games on the bounce. A nail-biting tiebreak followed and the world No.3 was forced to save two match points before he could convert a set point of his own and level the match.

Sinner resumed control in the third set however, shooting to a 4-0 lead and then holding on to record his second match-win over a Top 10 player.

“You know, especially when you’re young, in one year you can do a lot of things. I think I have improved, yeah, everything. You know, especially the serve. The serve today, I served a little bit better, changing rotation and everything.,” said Sinner.

“You know, there is not like one exact point, but I think everything a little bit. So, you know, playing against him is never easy. Last year was like, you know, my first test against — for me, there was, like, the first time I have played against a top-10 player. It was a little test. And like today I knew that I have the level to compete better against him. Yeah, obviously it was a great match, and I’m very happy.”

Sinner will now place No.15 seed Grigor Dimitrov who prevailed in a much more straightforward affair against Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 6-0 in 54 minutes.