Sinner Surges To Beijing QFs, Dimitrov Downs Rune

Pair will clash in last eight at ATP 500 event

After battling through a tough three-setter to open his China Open campaign, Jannik Sinner put his foot down to accelerate past Yoshihito Nishioka on Sunday and reach the quarter-finals in Beijing.

Sinner prevailed 6-2, 6-0 against the Japanese World No. 38 to reach his 12th tour-level quarter-final of the season. The Italian’s 67-minute triumph was in stark contrast to his first-round win against Daniel Evans, and he later acknowledged it had taken him time to settle after arriving in Beiing for his debut at the ATP 500 event.

“The first couple of days [in China] I was sick, and I tried somehow to get through the first round and I knew then I would have one day off,” said Sinner. “Every day is different. I feel physically much better, and I think when I have this shape of physicality, the way I play is a little bit easier.

“Today I played well. Maybe on serve I have to improve a little bit, the percentage, but I think all the rest was really good today.”

Sinner and Nishioka exchanged breaks of serve in the first two games of the match but the World No. 7 dominated from that moment on to improve his Lexus ATP Head2Head series lead against the Japanese to 2-0. Sinner won 11 straight games from 1-2 in the first set and powered 18 winners, including eight aces, in a display full of his trademark clean ballstriking.

“There were some key moments of this match that made my confidence grow,” said Sinner. “Playing this evening was a little bit like indoors. The ball was a little bit slower than during the day. When you play during the day it is quite tough, with the sun and everything. Today I think I handled the situation very well.”

Sinner’s 46th tour-level win of 2023 consolidated his position in fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. He is chasing a second appearance on home soil at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, where he competed as an alternate in 2021.

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Next up for the 22-year-old Sinner is a last-eight clash against Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian maintained a high level throughout his encounter with third seed Holger Rune to seal a 6-3, 7-5 win and reach the quarter-finals for the fourth time in eight Beijing appearances.

Dimitrov converted four of 11 break points he earned to snap a 12-match losing streak against Top 5 opponents. He is a former finalist in Beijing, where he fell to Andy Murray in the 2016 championship match.

“I’m focusing on the level of my tennis. I’ve lost quite a few close matches this year against a few players like that, so I really wanted to step up my game a little bit more,” said Dimitrov of his 92-minute win against the World No. 4 Rune. “I still felt I could have done a few things a little bit better, but a win is a win. I just need to think a little bit about what I can improve.

“From the first match to now I see a few things that are better, but I still believe I can top it off a little bit more.”

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