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Jannik Sinner hits 59 winners on Thursday to defeat Roberto Carballes Baena at Roland Garros.

Sinner Survives Carballes Baena Test At Roland Garros

Italian will next play American McDonald

Jannik Sinner was tested on Thursday by Roberto Carballes Baena, but the Italian came up with the answers to reach the third round at Roland Garros.

The 11th seed rallied past the Spaniard 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in a match that was even closer than the scoreline suggested. The 20-year-old has now advanced to at least the third round in his first three appearances at the clay-court major.

"For sure it was a tough match, especially in the beginning, long rallies," Sinner said. "The key was to keep going and trying to make the key points in each set and, I have to say, I'm very happy."

Sinner had to dig deep to solve the Carballes Baena riddle, though. The World No. 89, who has earned 55 of his 68 tour-level victories on clay, played consistent tennis to force the Italian to power through him.

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After making 19 unforced errors in the first set, Sinner reined in his baseline game and began to use his aggression to his advantage. The five-time ATP Tour titlist had too much firepower for Carballes Baena in neutral rallies and hit 59 winners to just 23 for the Spaniard.

Sinner will next face Mackenzie McDonald, who upset 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. The American made just 15 unforced errors in his one-hour, 53-minute victory.

The Italian defeated McDonald in their only previous ATP Head2Head clash in last year’s Citi Open final, triumphing after two hours and 53 minutes in a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 thriller.

"I played a final in Washington against him, so it's going to be tough," Sinner said. "He's a great mover, he knows how to play every shot, so I'm expecting a very tough and long match, so let's see. The first time that we play on clay, it's something new."

Sinner has proven consistent this season. Although the 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion has not won a title yet in 2022, he has won multiple matches at every tournament he has played and is now 26-6. He has not lost a completed match to any player outside the Top 11 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings this season.

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