Sinner surges into Monte-Carlo QFs

Italian next meets Rune or Dimitrov
April 11, 2024
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Jannik Sinner during Thursday's action at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. By ATP Staff

Jannik Sinner reached his third ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season Thursday when he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-2 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Riding an eight-match winning streak, the Italian navigated through an early exchange of breaks before increasing his level at 4-4 in the opening set, breaking the German’s serve and proceeding to close the set behind his own delivery.

The 22-year-old struck the ball with weight, despite an uncharacteristic 10 unforced errors in the first set, and sent Struff from corner-to-corner in heavy-hitting baseline rallies to advance after one hour, 16 minutes. Sinner is now 2-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with the World No. 25. The pair’s previous meeting came last month in Indian Wells.

“He’s a dangerous player for sure. I had to be very, very careful,” said Sinner, who won 85 per cent of his first-serve points (22/26). “I broke him quite early and then he broke me back. I knew it was going to be really tough, but I guess I returned really well, especially on second serves. I can be very happy.”

Sinner created opportunities with aggressive returning, winning 54 per cent of his second-serve return points and claiming four of his eight break point chances.

A two-time ATP Masters 1000 titlist, Sinner’s quarter-final opponent Friday will be seventh seed Holger Rune or ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov, whom the Italian beat in the Miami final. Sinner lost to Rune in last year’s Monte-Carlo semi-finals.

“I’m happy. Every match is different. I’m happy again to be in the next round,” Sinner said. “It’s going to be really tough. Against both players I’ve always had very tough battles, tough matches. I’m looking forward to it and as always, I’m going to have to raise the level if I want to win. Let’s see.”

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The second seed leads the ATP Tour in wins (24) and titles (3) this season, having triumphed at the Australian Open, in Rotterdam and Miami. Sinner must reach the last four in the Principality to remain the No. 2 player in the PIF ATP Rankings.

Holding the top spot in the PIF ATP Live Race to Turin, Sinner is into his 11th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final and third straight in Monte-Carlo. The 13-time tour-level titlist is aiming for his maiden Masters 1000 crown on clay and first at any level on that surface since 2022 Umag.

Struff, 33, earned his 200th tour-level match win Tuesday when he beat Borna Coric in the second round. The 6’4” German, who made last year’s Madrid final, was aiming for his fourth ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final appearance.

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