Sinner savors sweet revenge in Monte Carlo

The Italian defeats Rune in three stellar rounds

April 12, 2024

By Staff

Jannik Sinner wants to make a different mark at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where his dominance over the locker room can extend to the clay courts. The Italian returned this Friday to the semi-finals of the Principality for the second consecutive season, placing his shots ever closer to the Monegasque trophy.

The second seed signed one of his hardest-fought victories of the season, beating Danish Holger Rune 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, the man who had stopped his steps the previous season on the banks of the Mediterranean. This demanding rematch, where he let two match points escape in the second set, served to showcase an increasingly evident strength: the steel mentality that drives a 22-year-old boy.

“It took a lot of effort [ganar este partido]” Sinner said of the track. “It’s never easy to compete against him, especially in this type of situation. I feel really happy for the victory, but especially for the level I have given. I’ve raised it a little. It has been more physical, there were more exchanges. “My general feelings are good and I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow’s game.”

The fight between the two was the umpteenth example of mutual bravery. Rune and Sinner have shared sleeves in all the matches of their rivalry and in Monte Carlo there were no exceptions. After losing the first set, Rune continued rowing on Court Rainier III, where he overcame 0-40 situations to make it 3-2 and then 6-5 in the second set. Despite those missed opportunities, Sinner seemed on course for victory in two sets at 6/4 in the tiebreak. However, Rune rallied to send the duel to the decisive round.

The moral blow did not divert Sinner from his objective, going through ice moments such as the break point saved at 2-2 in the third set. The Italian, challenged at the back of the court like in no other match of the tournament, completed his victory with a completely clear mind.

“I only concentrate on my things, everything is part of a learning process,” Sinner responded when asked about his concentration against Rune, who used the atmosphere of the public to attempt the comeback. “Even if I had lost today, I had learned so I would be happy. It was a tough game and I am happy with the victory.”

If conquering clay is a mission on Jannik’s mind, the Monte Carlo semifinals will be an unbeatable test. The Italian will play the penultimate round against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, two-time champion of the tournament and a traditional obstacle on the surface for his shots. The Greek, who has not delivered a round this week in the Principality, dominates the Lexus ATP Head2Head record 5-3, including a 3-1 on clay.

This Saturday’s fight, however, could have a different aroma. Sinner will enter the match having won for the first time over Tsitsipas, whom he tightened the screws like never before last season, demanding five sets at the Australian Open before defeating him in Rotterdam and at the Nitto ATP Finals.

“Tomorrow’s game is going to be complicated,” Sinner stressed. “Stefanos is playing well, we’ll see what I can do.”

Sinner continues to forge a stellar season that has vaulted him to No. 1 in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin. After lifting his first Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open, the Italian responded with maturity by winning the ATP 500 in Rotterdam and the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami, arriving in Monte Carlo as the man to beat in the locker room. His climb to the semifinals takes his 2024 balance to 25-1, confirming one of the best starts to the course in recent years.

Did you know…?
Jannik Sinner aims to become the second Italian champion in the history of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The world No. 2 can follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Fabio Fognini, who in 2019 lifted the Monegasque trophy, becoming the first tennis player sky blue capable of lifting an ATP Masters 1000 title in individual mode.


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