One round further: Jannik Sinner © APA / afp / TIZIANA FABI
First a hint of lethargy, then a freak typical of him and finally great tennis: Fabio Fognini (ATP 56) showed all his facets at the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome on Wednesday, but did not throw a stoic Jannik Sinner off the track .
May 11, 2022
Jannik Sinner should have gone into the long-awaited match with a good feeling. On the one hand because the 20-year-old had made an appealing performance against Pedro Martinez, on the other hand because the record against compatriots before the match was 3-0. Fognini’s was also positive 20:12, but he also had to accept some crushing defeats. In 2010, the almost 35-year-old lost, for example, 6-0 and 6-3 against Andreas Seppi in Rome. The final result on Wednesday was not quite so clear, but Sinner’s success was never in danger: He won 6: 2, 3: 6 and 6: 3.
In front of 10,500 spectators at “Centrale”, the match began extremely strangely: Sinner gave up the first six points through avoidable mistakes, but then won 16 of the next 20 rallies. The result: a double break and a comfortable 5: 1 lead. Fognini seemed inhibited in his movements, hardly resisting and almost apathetically wound up his program. Unusually numb, he lost the first set after about half an hour.
Hooked his racket: Fabio Fognini © APA / afp / TIZIANA FABI
Sinner was not infected by Fognini’s appearance. The South Tyrolean played solidly, benefited from the opponent’s many mistakes and never had to use his full potential. That changed at the start of the second set: Suddenly, the veteran, encouraged by the crowd, played offensive and mostly flawless tennis. Sinner was put on the defensive several times and seemed a little impressed with it. Left by the first serve, the sixteen conceded the break to 1: 3.
Fognini freaks out
The trip? no way. Fognini gave up this valuable lead again due to two double faults. Hotspuren then smashed his bat, which was recognized by the series with an unmistakable concert of whistles. In addition, the Italian received a warning for it. Sinner then continued to struggle with his serve, which Fognini promptly exploited for the next break. The fight was now heading into its prime. Both players delighted the fans with some incredible points. However, Sinner made significantly more mistakes than in the beginning, which meant that Fognini, who now played flawlessly, had no problems defending the break until the end of the set – equalizing the set.
Relieved: Jannik Sinner © ANSA / ETTORE FERRARI
Sinner did not seem to find any means against his opponent’s variable play. Fognini made a breakball right at the start of the crucial sentence, which the 20-year-old struggled out of with a popping serve-forehand combination. Shortly afterwards, the South Tyrolean also got two break chances, but Fognini also kept a cool head. The fight was now on a knife edge. After Sinner caught up with a 0:30 deficit on his own serve, he won twelve points in a row – and thus ran away to 4: 1. World number 13 seemed to have everything under control now. To the chagrin of his fans, he could not take advantage of Fognini’s weakness phase and quickly gave up the precious break.
Now Krajinovic is waiting
Because the man from Sanremo then made two double faults and also missed a simple forehand, Sinner got the break back. The serving was then only a matter of form. After about two hours, the sixteenth used his first match point and thus advanced to the round of 16. In this he now meets the Serb Filip Krajinovic (ATP 54), who surprisingly knocked out Andrey Rublev. Sinner won the only meeting so far last year in Sofia on hard court in two sets. The match will be played on Thursday around 3 p.m.