Jannik Sinner extended his winning streak to 10 matches in a row as he reached the biggest final of his career. The 22-year-old battled past Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-7(4) 6-1 in the semi-final of the ATP Finals to advance to the championship match in front of a packed home crowd. Sinner will now take on either Carlos Alcaraz or Novak Djokovic – the latter being a rematch of his round-robin win earlier in the week.
Sinner was hunting his first final at the ATP Finals and came into the match having won his last two matches against Medvedev, despite trailing their head-to-head 2-6. The Italian was unbeaten so far in Turin, going 3-0 in the group stage this week, while Medvedev had lost one match to Alcaraz.
That streak looked set to continue as he came out swinging against the world No 3. Sinner was under pressure when he was forced to save an early break point but he quickly slammed the door and started turning up the heat on the Medvedev serve instead. With the 2020 ATP Finals champion leading 40-0 in the fourth game of the match, Sinner reeled off five points in a row to secure the break and take a 3-1 lead.
It proved crucial as the world No 4 went through the motions until he secured the opener 6-3. Medvedev again had the first opportunity to break in the second set with Sinner serving at 3-4. It turned into a tough game for the 22-year-old, lasting almost ten minutes as his first serve suddenly abandoned him.
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But he managed to make it through as the home crowd broke out into chants of his name, with the pressure suddenly back on the Russian. Sinner started painting the lines and took a 0-30 lead in Medvedev’s next service game but the 27-year-old raised his level and became the better player at the back end of the second set.
The Italian forced a tiebreak as the fans chanted “ole, Sinner” again, trying to get their man over the finish line. Medvedev secured the first mini-break as the 22-year-old failed to chase down a drop shot but he immediately relinquished it, sending the ball long. Sinner handed him the advantage again as he dumped the ball into the net on his backhand. It was all Medvedev needed to take the set 7-6(4) to force a decider, though the Russian raised concerns when he left the court with the physio.
The pendulum swung back towards Sinner as he got off to a flying start in the third and final set. Medvedev was immediately in trouble when he went 15-40 down in his opening service game. He saved both break points but Sinner set up a third and a double fault from the world No 3’s racket gifted him the game. Medvedev’s composure started to slip as he threw his racket into the sideboard in the next game, pointing at the crowd and shushing them.
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As Medvedev’s focus dropped, Sinner started to step it up again. The former world No 1 couldn’t get past the youngster as he was dragged into another lengthy game at 1-4 down. The fourth seed needed three break points but he managed to secure a double-break lead, the final nail in the coffin for Medvedev’s time in Turin.
For the third match in a row, Sinner managed to survive in three sets as he closed out the match after two hours and 29 minutes with the fans going crazy. The 22-year-old is now through to his biggest final yet and still hasn’t lost a match since October 10.
He will face either Alcaraz or Djokovic as he bids to end the season on a high. The Italian got his first-ever victory over Djokovic in the group stage earlier this week and leads his head-to-head with Alcaraz by four wins to three losses.
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