Sinner Sails Past Wawrinka To Rotterdam SFs
The day after he dispatched top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets at the ATP 500 event, the World No. 14 returned to down Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3 and reach the semi-finals in Rotterdam for the first time.
Sinner raced through the first set in Friday's clash with 2015 champion Wawrinka and, despite the Swiss showing some late resistance to reclaim a break and level at 3-3 in the second, the 21-year-old Italian’s combination of consistency and power proved key as he frequently outlasted his more experienced opponent from the baseline.
The 72-minute victory extended Sinner’s winning streak to six matches, with Rotterdam victories against Benjamin Bonzi, Tsitsipas and Wawrinka backing up his run to his seventh tour-level title last week in Montpellier.
“I just try to play every match with a high intensity, try to play my game, try to adapt myself,” said Sinner, when asked about his good form. “The first round match here was very important for me, then I try to keep going, to get more rhythm. Today I think it was also a good match. It’s never easy playing against him, so I’m very happy.”
A lightning-fast start set from Sinner set the tone in the quarter-final clash. He broke Wawrinka's serve in the opening game and then fended off three break points for the Swiss to move 2-0 ahead. Those proved to be the Italian’s most vulnerable moments in a first set in which he converted three of five break points.
Wawrinka appeared dispirited after dropping serve again in the fourth game of the second set but the former World No. 3 dug deep, deploying some heavy hitting of his own to level for 3-3. He was unable to cope with the relentless Sinner in the latter stages of the set, however, and the Italian broke again in the eighth game before holding serve to level his ATP Head2Head series with the Swiss at 2-2.
“It was for sure a tough match,” said Sinner. “We know each other quite well, we practise a lot together… I’m very happy to be in the next round. I tried to push him a lot, he defended very well. He made a couple of unforced errors in the first set, I tried to get the momentum going, then I made a couple of unforced errors at 3-1… [Overall] I think it was a good performance today.”
Sinner's opponent in his first semi-final above ATP 250 level since October 2021 will be Tallon Griekspoor. The 26-year-old prevailed 6-4, 6-4 against countryman Gijs Brouwer to become the first Dutch player to reach the semi-finals at the Rotterdam Ahoy since Igor Sijsling in 2014.
Griekspoor hit 21 winners to Brouwer’s 26 in the pair’s 78-minute encounter, but he was clinical in converting both break points he had en route to a 78-minute win against his fellow wild card. With the win, the 26-year-old advanced to his maiden ATP 500 semi-final and just his second overall, after he lifted his maiden ATP Tour title in Pune in January.
Now up to 21 spots to No. 40 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, Griekspoor is set to reach a new career high on Monday regardless of his result against Sinner.