The youngest player in the top-100, Jannik Sinner has made incredible progress in the last 13 months, claiming three Challenger titles and earning 14 ATP victories. The Italian made an ATP debut as a qualifier in Budapest previous spring, beating Mate Valkusz in the first round for the first victory on the main level at the age of 17, clinching another one at home Masters 1000 event in Rome.
The Next Gen champion had some notable triumphs over the better-ranked opponents but also some tough defeats, mentioning the one that made him realize there are still a lot of things to improve in his game. It came in Marseille in February against Daniil Medvedev who toppled the youngster 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 after an hour and 19 minutes.
The young Italian had the upper hand in the opener before Daniil took charge, dropping only five points behind the initial shot in sets two and three to control the scoreboard and move over the top in no time at all. The Russian lost 15 points in 11 service games, suffering those two breaks in the opener and restoring from that point to mount the pressure on a teenager who couldn’t endure it, getting broken four times from seven chances offered to the US Open finalist to end his run in the second round.
Sinner was the player to beat in the first set, serving well and earning an early break in game two when Daniil netted a forehand. The Russian sprayed a backhand error in the sixth game to lose serve again, sending another backhand long a couple of minutes later to hand the set to Jannik after just 23 minutes.
With no room for errors, Medvedev started to play much better in set number two, breaking the youngster in game four and again at 4-1 before sealing the set with three winners in the next ga,e to set the decider. There, Jannik played a loose backhand to find himself 3-0 down, winning only one point on the return and allowing Daniil to move over the top with three winners at 5-2.