Sinner stays perfect in Sofia, Rune – on the way after three-set battle

Jannik Sinner continued his late-season surge to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals on Friday. He defeated Aleksandar Vukic 6:2, 6:3 after 81 minutes to reach the semi-finals at the Sofia Open for a third year in a row.

In a dominant display, the Italian crushed 21 winners. It was the 45th tour-level win of the season of the two-times champion. The top seed is up one place to No. 12 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin following his quarter-final win and will rise to No. 10 if he wins his third straight Sofia title.

Sinner competed on home soil in Turin as an alternate last season and is looking to finish the season strongly as he aims to qualify for the prestigious end-of-year event, held from 13-20 November.

The 21-year-old now holds a standout 11-0 record in Sofia. He captured the crown on debut at the ATP 250 event in 2020, before he successfully retained his title last year. Sinner is just two wins away from triumphing again. The 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion will next face fifth-seeded Dane Holger Rune after the #NextGenATP Dane edged Ilya Ivashka 6:2, 5:7, 6:4.

The 19-year-old, who is making his debut in Sofia, struck 35 winners and broke four times to advance after two hours and 22 minutes.