Sinner Shines For First Top 10 Win In Rotterdam

Italian now plays Pospisil or Krajinovic

Jannik Sinner struck 27 winners and closed out his first Top 10 victory in style on Thursday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The 18-year-old wild card overcame World No. 10 and 2017 runner-up David Goffin 7-6(7), 7-5 and will next play Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the quarter-finals at the Rotterdam Ahoy.

"I feel great, especially now in this moment," said Sinner. "It was not easy playing against him. He is very solid, so you sometimes go for a winner, or change the rhythm. It feels like a normal victory, [but] sometimes you play [matches] better than others. It’s all about improving and testing where you are [as a player]."

Sinner clinched the first set, which lasted 68 minutes, with a forehand — his 15th winner — on his fifth set point in the tie-break. The pair had exchanged service breaks at the start of the match. Fourth seed Goffin took a 2-0 lead in the second set, but 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Sinner recovered with his solid groundstrokes and broke for a 6-5 lead when Goffin hit his seventh double fault.

Looking ahead to his next opponent, Sinner said: "[Pablo’s] very difficult, but I need to learn more about him. It won’t be an easy match, as he won against Bautista Agut, who is a very solid player."

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Awaiting Sinner in the next round is Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who withstood three set points and an inspired effort from Canadian Vasek Pospisil to advance 6-4, 7-6(7).

It appeared that Krajinovic would secure a comfortable win after holding match point on his serve at 5-4 in the second set, but a cramping Pospisil shockingly erased it with a backhand return winner. The qualifier then fought off two more match points before bringing the crowd to its feet after securing a break to level the match.

Krajinovic erased a set point on his serve at 5-6 and fittingly forced a tie-break. The Canadian cracked a backhand return winner at 5/5 to earn another set point, but couldn't convert and floated a slice backhand well long. Another set point for Pospisil came and went at 7/6 before the 27-year-old Serbian made good on his fourth match point after one hour and 56 minutes.

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Elsewhere, Andrey Rublev extended his excellent start to the 2020 ATP Tour season by recording his 13th win in 14 matches. The seventh-seeded Russian improved to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head against Alexander Bublik with a 7-5, 6-3 win over 80 minutes, which included winning five straight games from 4-5 in the first set to a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Last month, Rublev won back-to-back ATP Tour titles at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Moutet) and at the Adelaide International (d. Harris). He awaits the winner of Vasek Pospisil, victor over top seed Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, or Filip Krajinovic.

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