Sinner sets up Tsitsipas meeting after hard-fought win in Rotterdam

Sinner sets up Tsitsipas meeting after hard-fought win in Rotterdam

by Tom Grant

Last updated

Jannik Sinner set up a blockbuster clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas as he edged past a spiritedBenjamin Bonzi at the Rotterdam Open.

Fresh off the back of his seventh ATP Title in Montpellier last week, Sinner had to dig deep towin 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in just over two hours. The Italian will now face up to the challenge of Tsitsipas in a repeat of last month’s epic Australian Open last-16 match that went the distance with the Greek winning in a deciding fifth set.

Sinner started like a man who wanted to get the job done as quickly as possible, fighting back from 40-0 on the Bonzi serve to eventually break on his third break point. Bonzi was struggling with the World No.14’s power and the Frenchman was forced long and wide with his groundstrokes as Sinner broke again to lead 3-0.

Sinner leads the head-to-head record between the players 2-0 and he looked to maintain thatdominance when confidentially sending a backhand winner down the court to wrap up the first set 6-2 after Bonzi had been forced wide.

But the French World No.48 has enjoyed a decent start to the tennis year, reaching the final in Pune in January and after a couple of tough service holds, shocked Sinner and those watching when he broke serve on his very first break point of the match, taking a 3-1 lead and halting the Sinner onslaught.

Both players looked solid with the ball in hand until Bonzi served to level up the match at 5-3, 30-40. It looked as if Sinner was in control of the rally and ready to break back, but Bonzi smacked the top of the net with a backhand, the ball trickling onto the Sinner side with the Italian left on the floor as he tried to change direction. From there, Bonzi served well to take the set 6-3 and tie the match.

Sinner had looked as if the travails of the previous week in France were beginning to catch up on him in the second set, but he seemed to find his first set power again as he broke the Bonzi serve early to take a 2-0 lead.

The Italian came through a big hold at 3-1, Bonzi failing to convert two break points and in the very next game, Sinner took the first of his own break points as the Bonzi challenge fizzled out.

And Sinner saw out the match with some power serving, take the decider 6-1 to send Bonzi home.


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