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Jannik Sinner, No. 34 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, needed 66 minutes to reach the quarter-finals at the Open 13 Provence.

Sinner Overpowers Gaston To Reach Marseille Quarter-Finals

Italian to face top seed Medvedev or Gerasimov next

#NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner reached his second quarter-final of 2021 with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Hugo Gaston on Wednesday at the Open 13 Provence.

Sinner had a battle on his hands as the 20-year-old French wild card mounted a late comeback in the first set. But once he sunk his teeth into the match, he was relentless as he won 89 per cent of points behind his first serve (24/27) en route to a 66-minute win.

“There are some key points in every set, and when he came back [in the first set], I was just trying to stay there mentally,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “I think I did that, and I’m very proud of that. In the second set, I tried to start strong."

Sinner had an impressive day on serve, firing five aces and dropping serve only once during the contest. From the baseline, Sinner was able to read the lefty's variety and stay in control of the points.

“He’s a very difficult player because he is always changing the ball a lot and changing the rhythm," Sinner said. "I tried to play deep and play my game, but it’s never easy when someone hits quite hard. Matches can change very fast, so I tried to stay there in every point.” 

The 19-year-old had to pass an early test against another Frenchman in the first round with a hard-fought 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-3 win over Gregoire Barrere. Now he awaits the winner of top seed Daniil Medvedev and Egor Gerasimov for a spot in the semi-finals.

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Sinner began his season with a run to the trophy at the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne, and is seeking his third ATP Tour trophy in Marseille.

Fourth seed Ugo Humbert joined Sinner in the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win against former champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Humbert sealed the victory with a subdued celebration against his good friend and countryman, who had claimed his first ATP Tour victory since 2019 in the first round.

Photos: Corinne Dubreuil

“It is not easy to play against Jo. It was a bit emotional today, but I tried to stay focussed on what I had to do,” Humbert said. “I tried to put a lot of intensity [into my game] today and I’m very happy to win against Jo.”

Humbert awaits the winner of seventh seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and French qualifier Arthur Rinderknech.