Australian Open: Jannik Sinner fights his way through to fourth round

After a good start, Jannik Sinner struggled to find his range from the baseline in the second set of the match.

Jannik Sinner in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@ATPTour)

Jannik Sinner had to work hard to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time on Saturday, defeating Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 at Kia Arena. In Melbourne, the 11th seed won his first two matches in straight sets against Joao Sousa and Steve Johnson. But he found the task considerably difficult against an invigorated Daniel, who had just defeated former World No. 1 Andy Murray in a thrilling match.

“I am very happy about my match wins [this week],” Sinner said in his post-match press conference. “But talking about the match today, it was a tough match for me. I didn’t know him very well. I started well but after that I made a couple of unforced errors and he raised his level, not missing many balls in the second set. It was not the most clinical performance but I am through into the second week.”

After a good start, Sinner, who is making his third appearance at Melbourne Park, he struggled to find his range from the baseline in the second set, and had no answer for Daniel’s hard hitting. With the strain on, the Italian successfully moved into top gear in the third and fourth sets, striking the ball with more aggressiveness and consistency to advance in their maiden ATP Head2Head match after two hours and 41 minutes.

Sinner’s next opponents

The 20-year-old will face either World No. 83 Pablo Andujar or Australian Alex de Minaur, who is seeded 32nd. Sinner has became the first man since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009 to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam before turning 21. In 2021, the 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion proceeded to the last 16 at Roland Garros and the US Open, with his greatest major finish coming in Paris in 2020, when he reached the quarterfinals.

Read More – Daniil Medvedev sails through into Australian Open fourth round

Sinner, who hit 57 winners against Daniel, had a breakout 2021 season, winning four tour-level championships before making his Nitto ATP Finals debut on home territory in Turin as an alternate. Sinner snatched time away from Daniel in the first set by taking the ball early and outmanoeuvring the World No. 120 in an interesting battle. He broke three times in the first set to take the lead, but he was unable to extend his lead in the second set as Daniel increased his energy.

The 28-year-old levelled the set with just six unforced errors, but couldn’t keep up with Sinner in the third set, losing the vital break in the eighth game. The World No. 10 then held serve to finish the set before storming to victory, ultimately breaking Daniel’s willpower. In his 18th appearance at a Grand Slam, Daniel was hoping to make it to the fourth round for the first time.

Sportslumo Desk

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