Jannik Sinner secured his best Rome result in his fourth appearance at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a battling win over Filip Krajinovic on Thursday. The Italian was cruising toward a straightforward victory, up a set and a break on Centre Court, but was made to work for a 6-2, 7-6(6) result to advance to his first quarter-final at the ATP Masters 1000 event.
Krajinovic was firmly on top in the second set after falling behind 0-2, but could not find a second break to complement his three love holds in the stanza. In the tie-break, Sinner surrendered a 4/1 lead but escaped in straight sets on his second match point.
The Italian advanced to his fourth Masters 1000 quarter-final, a stage he’s twice reached at the Grand Slam level at Roland Garros in 2020 and this season at the Australian Open. His Rome run secured his fifth tour-level quarter-final of the season. If Sinner is to get beyond that stage for the first time this year, he’ll have to knock off Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday after the Greek downed Karen Khachanov, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
A third Masters 1000 quarter-final of 2022 for @janniksin!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 12, 2022
Sinner dominated the opening set against Krajinovic, who was seeking his third Masters 1000 quarter-final, but the 10th seed’s struggles on first serve left the door open for Krajinovic in the second. The Serbian grew into the match after his first break and threatened throughout the second stanza with consistent, deep groundstrokes.
With the help of the Italian crowd, Sinner held on to force a tie-break without facing another break point, then capitalized on some untimely errors from the Serbian to advance in straights despite a sub-50 per cent first serve percentage in the set.
His quarter-final matchup against Tsitsipas will be the pair’s fifth ATP Head2Head meeting, with the Greek leading 3-1. They split second-round meetings in Rome in 2019 and 2020 before Tsitsipas dominated their more recent matchups in Barcelona last season and at the Aussie Open earlier this year.
More to come…