Sinner Moves Past Korda In Washington
In a battle of two #NextGenATP stars, it was Jannik Sinner who came out on top on Thursday at the Citi Open in Washington. The fifth-seeded Italian overcame American Sebastian Korda 7-6(3), 7-6(3) to reach the quarter-finals.
"Obviously it was a tough match, because we never practised together. We never played [a singles] match, so it was kind of new for both of us," Sinner said. "[We have a] very similar game style, so... [I was] trying to stick to my game plan, trying to serve well in the important moments, trying to have a good balance on court."
The 19-year-old snapped a four-match losing streak in his opening-round victory against Emil Ruusuvuori and backed it up against Korda, who Sinner will partner in the doubles quarter-finals later on Thursday as they team for the first time this week. The Italian served well and batted from 2-5 down in the second set to advance in one hour and 56 minutes.
Sinner is currently first in the ATP Race To Milan, two spots ahead of Korda in third. The Italian was victorious at the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne earlier this year and became just the fourth teenager to reach the final at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.
Both Sinner and Korda struck the ball with great depth in the first set as they looked to dictate from the baseline. After Sinner broke to lead 5-4, he was unable to serve the set out, as Korda found good angles on return to move the 19-year-old around. However, the Italian regained focus and raised his level to come through the tie-break to move ahead.
After receiving treatment at the end of the first set, Korda began to have more joy on return in the second set. He stepped inside the baseline to attack Sinner’s serve with his variety of shot, racing 5-2 ahead. However, with the match looking set for a decider, Sinner began to disrupt Korda’s rhythm to gain both breaks back and level at 5-5. Sinner then played aggressively in the tie-break to seal his victory.
"Everyone thinks it's easy, but it's not that easy to close it out," Sinner said. "There is a little bit of pressure. When I made the break, for me it was important to [make] him serve out [at] 5-4."
Korda won his first ATP Tour title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma in May and broke into the top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time following this triumph. The American was also making his debut in Washington.