T Tennis

Played outstandingly: Jannik Sinner © APA/afp / TIZIANA FABI

Dream start in Turin: Sinner disenchants Tsitsipas

What a performance, what strong nerves: Jannik Sinner withstood the great pressure at the start of the ATP Finals on Sunday and clearly defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas. The already huge euphoria surrounding the South Tyrolean tennis star has continued to grow.

From Turin

Leo Holzknecht

This afternoon had something of a holiday: all of South Tyrol and all of Italy looked to Turin, where Sinner played his first match at the ATP Finals. Over 15 fans made a pilgrimage to mark the occasion in the Pala Alpitour, which was filled to capacity. From the first to the last point there was a goosebumps atmosphere in Italy's largest sports hall. The local hero repaid the support with a fantastic performance that gave him his first win. The 000-year-old brought the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas to his knees 22:6 and 4:6.

The first (curious) outburst of mood occurred before the game. Suddenly there was cheering because... Carota Boys took a seat in the stands. But it wasn't just Sinner's noble fans who created a great atmosphere, as numerous South Tyroleans also didn't miss the spectacle on site and pushed their favorite forward. He didn't need any warm-up time to get into the match. On the extremely fast hard court, he gave his opponent, who was three years older than him, no chance when he served on his own serve. At the same time, he grabbed his first chance in the return games: When the score was 2-2, Tsitsipas struggled with his service, Sinner kept coming into rallies and successfully massaging the Greek's backhand. The result? The Break!

Perfect start

Although Simone Vagnozzi and Darren Cahill's protégé didn't play flawlessly, he was there in the important moments: for example when Tsitsipas sniffed out an immediate re-break at 15:30 or came close to a deuce in the last game of the set. However, Sinner solved all the problems with incredible callousness – 6:4 for the Sexten player.

The winning start section gave him 4th place in the world rankings. even more self-confidence. At the beginning of the second set, the 22-year-old was literally playing with Tsitsipas, who was reduced to a supporting actor. Sinner earned another break and could have decided the match shortly afterwards with the score at 2:0 and 0:40. Tsitsipas showed his class, avoided the worst-case scenario and stuck with it. However, the decision was only acceptable. Sinner left no stone unturned when it came to his own service and easily pushed his lead to the finish.

This meant that the Sesto native had a perfect start to the tournament. He not only took the group lead, but also another 200 points for the world rankings. Now Sinner has to wait for the evening match between Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune before he knows his next opponent. He will face the winner of this duel on Tuesday.

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