Match Report

Sinner's Time! Italian Earns First Masters 1000 Crown In Toronto

21-year-old becomes second Italian Masters 1000 champion
August 13, 2023
Jannik Sinner hoists his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy. By Sam Jacot

Jannik Sinner broke new ground on Sunday when he captured his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers. The Italian produced a clean-hitting display in Toronto to earn a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Alex de Minaur in one hour and 30 minutes.

Sinner lost his previous two Masters 1000 title matches in Miami in 2021 and 2023, but ensured he would not suffer final heartbreak again against de Minaur. He broke the Australian's serve five times to join Fabio Fognini (Monte-Carlo 2019) as just the second Italian Masters 1000 champion since the series began in 1990.

"It means a lot. It is a great result," Sinner said. "One I can share with all the people who are close to me every day. It is a nice moment to share with them and we are doing the right things. This result makes us feel good, stronger and hungry to work even harder in the future."

The 21-year-old is the youngest champion at the Canadian Masters 1000 since then-20-year-old Alexander Zverev lifted the trophy in 2017. Sinner’s victory also improved his Masters 1000 record to 18-4 in 2023, while he became the second first-time Masters 1000 winner of the season, joining Monte-Carlo champion Andrey Rublev.

"I am proud] how I handled the situation. Every opponent here is tough to play against," Sinner said. "I felt the pressure, but I think I handled it very well. Trying to play point after point. Treating everyone with respect on the court, so I am happy with how I handled the situation."

Sinner’s aggressive and proactive tennis in Toronto also earned him victories against Matteo Berrettini, Gael Monfils and Tommy Paul, with Sunday’s win against de Minaur cementing his fourth-placed position in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. The eight-time tour-level titlist competed on home soil at the Nitto ATP Finals as an alternate in 2021.

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In front of a packed crowd, a topsy-turvy first set swung one way and then the other as De Minaur provided a brick wall to Sinner’s ball bludgeoning. De Minaur entered the final holding a steal score of 46.5 per cent, well above the tour average 33 per cent, and he showed his defensive skills to force Sinner to overhit at times.

However, from 4-4 the Italian raised his depth and precision, outmanoeuvring the Australian to gain the fifth - and ultimately decisive - break of the set to lead.

After moving ahead, Sinner did not look back. He hit with too much power for De Minaur and started to clean the lines with his brutal groundstrokes, racing away in the second set to improve to 5-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against the Australian.

De Minaur had never reached the quarter-finals at a Masters 1000 event prior to this week. However, the Australian, who lost in the title match in Los Cabos last week, overcame seeds Cameron Norrie, Taylor Fritz and Daniil Medvedev to reach consecutive tour-level finals for the first time in his career. De Minaur is up five spots to 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as a result of his Toronto run.

"It was a breakthrough week for me," De Minaur said. "I had a nice week here in Toronto. I played some great tennis and it gave me a taste of it. My maiden [Masters 1000] final and I will be back."

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