Despite Lapses, Sinner Safely Through To Round 2
The World No. 11 took down Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5, 6-1. But after giving back breaks in the first and second sets, the Italian won't have been entirely satisfied with the nature of his victory.
“Of course it was not easy for a first round, especially against a player who [has] played three matches before,” Sinner said in his post-match press conference. “Today was also a little bit windy. I tried to get used to the conditions and everything. I think it was a good first round.”
Sinner served for the first set at 5-3 only to be broken and also allowed Sousa back on even terms early in the second set after opening a 2-0 lead, when it looked likely that he was heady for a speedy victory.
In the end, however, the Italian used his fresh, young legs to shut down angles for 32-year-old Sousa to hit into on Melbourne's Park's newest show court, Kia Arena. Sinner hit 31 winners (to Sousa's 14) and also 31 unforced errors.
Sinner, who improved to 4-0 on the year following his three ATP Cup victories, next faces the winner of Steve Johnson and Jordan Thompson. He will attempt to reach the Australian Open third round for the first time in three attempts.
The 20th seed Fritz, who reached the third round in Melbourne last year, overcame Germany’s Maximilian Marterer 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes, while Tiafoe edged Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
In an all-American battle, John Isner saved three match points against Maxime Cressy at 4-5, 0/40 in the fourth set as he reeled off three-straight aces, eventually forcing a decider. However, he was unable to prevail against the 24-year-old, who earned a 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-7(4), 6-4, four-hour, 15-minute victory, despite committing 20 double faults.