Italian tennis upstart Jannik Sinner might have been nursing an injury during the match but it certainly did not deter his focus from the task at hand. Sinner defeated fifth seed Andrey Rublev to waltz into the quarter-final of the 2022 Monte Carlo Masters. It is the second straight time the Italian has qualified for an ATP 1000 quarter-final. He will face a stern test in second seed Alexander Zverev on Friday. The scoreline at the end of his match against Rublev was 5-7, 6-1, 6-3. The ninth seed, in his post-match press conference, appreciated the support he received from those who attended.
“It is for me very, very special playing here,” Sinner said. “Obviously many, many Italians [in the] crowd. It’s incredible.”
The Italian did not allow Rublev to score a single ace while he himself converted six. He also limited his double faults to just a couple while the Russian conceded seven. Sinner also had a superior win percentage on both first and second serves as well. 67% to Rublev’s 58% on the first serve and 58% to 43% on the second. When it comes to break points, the Italian converted seven out of 12 while Rublev could only manage four out of 10.
At the 2022 Miami Open, that Italian had reached the quarter-final stage but he never got the chance to properly compete. Against Francisco Cerundolo, Sinner only played five games of one set, losing four and winning one. However, there was no doubt in the minds of fans that the Italian could stage a comeback and win the game from that point.
A foot blister was all it took to derail his campaign. Sinner had to retire from the match, forgoing his opportunity at a Masters 1000 crown. This time around, the same issue reared its head and the Italian was excused for a medical timeout which saw personnel re-dress his right toe. This happened early during the second set.
“I know blisters now quite well,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a concern. We have to treat it a little bit, obviously, but let’s see. Tomorrow is an important match.”
Indeed, facing Zverev is no small task. The Italian will need to be close to 100% if he is to have a chance at defeating the German tennis sensation and reaching the semi-final. Zverev had beaten Pablo Carreno Busta quite comfortable to reach this stage of the competition.