Sinner Storms Past Schwartzman For Antwerp Title, Continues Turin Chase
The historic achievements continue to add up for Jannik Sinner.
The Italian star defeated second seed Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday to win the European Open, marking his fifth ATP Tour title. The 20-year-old is the youngest player to claim five tour-level trophies since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic triumphed in Estoril in 2007.
“I felt great on court. I moved well. Today I also served better, I think," Sinner said. "I felt great, but in tennis every day is different. You have to be careful. I think I played well the whole tournament, to be honest, from the first point to the last point."
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It was a key week for Sinner, who will climb to 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on Monday as he tries to qualify for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Italian will trail ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz by just 110 points for the final qualifying spot, as Rafael Nadal is out for the season due to a foot injury.
Sinner did not lose a set en route to the title. The Monaco resident played some of his best tennis towards the end of the tournament, dropping just eight total games against in-form South African Lloyd Harris and Schwartzman in the semi-finals and final.
The top seed overpowered the Argentine in the championship match, blasting winners from all areas of the court, especially off his forehand wing. Sinner returned aggressively and never allowed Schwartzman to claw his way into the match.
“I like to play indoors. I tried to push the ball [through the court] today, which for me was important against Diego because he is moving very well. He’s not missing so many shots,” Sinner said. “For me it was important trying to adapt the game somehow against him.”
The second seed was left frustrated as he tried to work his way into points. But as Sinner continued blasting through the court in the second set, Schwartzman showed his appreciation for his opponent’s level by giving him a thumbs up.
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Sinner saved the two break points he faced and lost just two first-serve points (21/23) in a comprehensive serving performance. But his returning was also impressive, as he won 53 per cent of his return points and broke Schwartzman four times in his one-hour, 16-minute triumph.
“I think I can be very proud about the level I played,” Sinner said. “In the other way, tomorrow I go to Vienna. There’s another tournament already. There are different conditions. I won in Washington and then I lost first round in Toronto. I’m trying to not [let] this happen in Vienna, hopefully. It’s going to be a tough opponent [against Reilly Opelka].”
The Argentine was trying to claim his second ATP Tour title of the season (also Buenos Aires) and his first career trophy on an indoor hard court. Like Sinner, Schwartzman did not lose a set on his way to the championship match.