Jannik Sinner powered his way into his second tour-level semi-final of the season by third seed Alex de Minaur 6:7 (3), 6:4, 6:1 in two hours and 11 minutes at the Sofia Open.
It was a repeat of the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals, which Sinner won 12 months ago.
The first set was level – both exchanged a break, and in the tie-break, it was De Minaur who used better his chances. It was Sinner’s the first lost set in the tournament. The Italian broke in the seventh game in the second set and got the set. Two breaks in the third set were enough for the win.
“The key [in the big moments] is the balance on court, trying to understand how big I should go,” said Sinner. “The important points, when you serve, try to serve with the first serve in and maybe then it is a little bit easier to win the point.
“I was just focussing on that and trying to let him play in one corner, because he moves very fast… My tactic was to stay in one corner and try and play a little bit faster than him.”
Sinner reached his first Grand Sam championship quarter-final last month at Roland Garros, where he became the youngest major quarter-finalist since 18-year-old Bernard Tomic at 2011 Wimbledon.
Sinner, who owns a 17-11 record in 2020, is through to his second ATP Tour semi-final of the year. The bett1HULKS Championship semi-finalist is aiming to reach his first ATP Tour championship match this week. His next opponent in Sofia will be Adrian Mannarino, seeded fifth.
“[Adrian] is a tough player, a lefty [who is] serving well and moving well in long rallies. It is going to be a physical match,” said Sinner. “I have to talk to my coach about how I am going to play tomorrow and try to be prepared.”