Jannik Sinner Shines in Monte Carlo: A Tennis Superstar on the Rise

After a bumpy start, Jannik Sinner really got going. © APA/afp / VALERY HACHE

It is the ultimate motorsport classic when the Formula 1 cars rush through Monte Carlo’s high-rise canyons every May. At the moment it is not Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton who are stirring up dust in the principality, but Italy’s new sports superstar, the South Tyrolean Jannik Sinner.

The 22-year-old from Sexten easily made it to the quarter-finals of the high-ranking Masters clay court tournament. Just one day after his lightning-fast two-set win against Sebastian Korda (ATP 27), he brought Jan-Lennard Struff to his knees 6:4, 6:2 in 77 minutes of play.

However, it took some time on Thursday afternoon in the beautiful tennis facility on the Côte d’Azur before the Sinner engine was running at full speed. First of all, there was a dull misfire. After a Sinner break and an immediate re-break from Struff, the world number two was behind 2:3 early on. He kept making unforced errors. “It was not easy. The game started completely differently than the one against Korda,” Sinner said after the game.

“The game started completely differently than the one against Korda.” Jannik Sinner

After around 20 minutes of play, Sinner found his way, shifted up two gears and quickly picked up speed. The 33-year-old German, who had previously shown brilliant tennis in two matches, was unable to keep up with this pace. While everything went smoothly for Sinner, Struff stumbled time and time again.

“Perhaps the decisive factor was that at some point I managed to return his second serve better and found more and more in my game,” Sinner later analyzed. With a break to make it 2-1 in the second set, he finally turned to victory. After he later took the service from his opponent again, he finally drove over the finish line on his own serve to make it 6:2.

The chance for revenge

In the quarter-finals, Sinner will now face a top ten player on Friday (1 p.m.). A duel awaits with Dane Holger Rune, seeded number seven, against whom he was eliminated in the semi-finals last year. He was in action twice on Thursday: First, Rune sealed his three-set win against Sumit Nagal (ATP 93), which was interrupted due to rain, and then he also defeated Grigor Dimitrov (ATP 9) in the tiebreak of the third set.

Another quarter-final has already been decided: Novak Djokovic will meet Alex De Minaur. The world number one from Serbia defeated Italy’s second exceptional talent, Lorenzo Musetti, 7:5 and 6:3 after an initially tough fight.


2024-04-11 16:56:46
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