Jannik Sinner reaches Rome’s first QF | ATP Tour
Jannik Sinner got his best result in Rome in his fourth Internazionali BNL d’Italia appearance with a fight win over Filip Krajinovic on Thursday. The Italian was heading for a straight, set and a break win on center court but was forced to work for a 6-2, 7-6(6) result to progress to his first quarter-final at the ATP Masters 1000. an event.
Krajinovic was firmly ahead in the second set after falling 0-2 down, but couldn’t find a second break to complete his three love holds in the stanza. In the tie-break, Sinner surrendered a 4/1 lead but escaped in straight sets on his second match point.
The Italian has qualified for his fourth Masters 1000 quarter-final, a milestone he has achieved twice at Grand Slam level at Roland Garros in 2020 and this season at the Australian Open. His run in Rome secured his fifth quarter-final of the season at tour level. If Sinner wants to get past that stage for the first time this year, he will have to eliminate Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday after the Greek beat Karen Khachanov, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
Sinner dominated the first set against Krajinovic, who was looking for his third Masters 1000 quarter-final, but the 10th seed’s struggles on the first serve left the door open for Krajinovic in the second. The Serb grew into the game after his first break and threatened throughout the second stanza with consistent, deep groundstrokes.
With help from the Italian crowd, Sinner held on to force a tie-break without facing another break point, then capitalized on a few untimely errors from the Serb to drive forward despite a lower first-serve percentage. 50% in the set.
Their quarter-final match against Tsitsipas will be the pair’s fifth ATP Head2Head meeting, with the Greek leading 3-1. They split second-round encounters in Rome in 2019 and 2020 before Tsitsipas dominated their most recent clashes at Barcelona last season and at the Australian Open earlier this year.
After Sinner rose to No. 12 in the Pepperstone ATP live rankings with his run in Rome, he can reach No. 11 by reaching the semifinals and up to No. 7 with the title.
On Pietrangeli, fifth seed Casper Ruud had his first encounter with rising American Jenson Brooksby. The Rome 2020 semi-finalist is through to his eighth Masters 1000 quarter-final after an entertaining 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Brooksby, 21, making his Rome debut, picked up his first clay-court wins at tour level this week to reach the last 16 but fell short of what would have been his second-best victory by the standings Pepperstone’s ATP against the Norwegian world number 10.
Ruud won the first set on his fourth set point, saving two break points as he served. He didn’t face a break point in the second despite being pushed 30/30 on three occasions. Facing Brooksby’s single shot, the 23-year-old was able to control enough rallies to walk away unscathed in an hour and 36 minutes. Ruud hit five aces and won 86% (36/42) of his first-serve points in the contest.
Seeking his second title of the season after a triumph in Buenos Aires in February, he now awaits the winner of the evening match on center court between defending champion Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov.
Ruud is regaining his form after a 4-4 start to the European clay swing before Rome, which included a 1-2 mark at the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo and Madrid. He reached the semi-finals at both events last season, compiling 11 victories on clay leading to Rome, despite not competing in the Italian capital.