Jannik Sinner took down Stefanos Tsisipas in the second round at Internazionali BNL d’Italia. And, Lorenzo Musetti dispatched the 2016 French Open winner, Stan Wawrinka, in the first. Both, Sinner and Musetti prevailed against highly accomplished players in Rome. They played not only above their age but also better than their highly experienced opponents.
Jannik Sinner dominated Stefanos Tsitsipas
Sinner is only 19 years old, but without a doubt someone to watch over the next few years. In his short stint in the pro circuit, he has claimed the talented scalps of Monfils, Paire, Goffin, and now Tsitsipas. He won the ATP NextGen Finals in 2019 by taking down Alex de Minaur 4-2, 4-1, 4-1. Sinner plays an aggressive brand of tennis and goes big on his serve and the ground shots.
Jannik easily dispatched Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-1 in the first round in Rome. He dominated Tsitsipas in the first and the third set and didn’t allow the Greek to settle during the match. Sinner avenged his second round 6-3, 6-2 loss to Tsitsipas at the same event last year.
“When you’re young, in one year you can do a lot of things,” Sinner said in the post match interview. “I think I have improved everything. Especially the serve. I served a little bit better, changing rotation and everything. Playing against him is never easy. Last year was my first test against a Top 10 player. It was a little test. Today, I knew that I had the level to compete better against him. Obviously, it was a great match, and I’m very happy.”
Sinner’s reward is a date against Dimitrov, who easily dispatched Yoshihito Nishioka in the first. The two have never faced each other before. Grigor Dimitrov showed good form against Nishioka, but Sinner appeared quite unbeatable in the first against Stefanos. If Jannik can reproduce the same level against Grigor, then we don’t see the Bulgarian through to the next.
Lorenzo Musetti bageled Wawrinka in the first!
Musetti faced even a bigger challenge than Jannik. He brought down a Goliath, and a multiple slam winner in his first round at the event. Lorenzo also won the battle of the single handed backhands against Wawrinka in the encounter! Wawrinka at 35 years and Musetti about 18 were the oldest and youngest players in the tournament! Lorenzo, however, betrayed no signs of the age and experience gap in his free flowing ground shots and booming serve. The first set was riddled with errors from Wawrinka, the second was a tussle, but Musetti’s serve saved the day for him.
The Italian became the first player born in 2002 to win an ATP tour match with the 6-0, 7-6 (2) routing of Wawrinka. Musetti, a former junior world number one, is an all court player who is quite comfortable approaching the net. Musetti wields a powerful serve, strong forehand, and an excellent single handed backhand. We’d, however, like to wait for his next against Nishikori before proclaiming him the savior of tennis from the tyranny of the Big Three.
Sinner and Musetti prevailed against all odds
Sinner and Musetti prevailed against the odds, in their early rounds in Rome. In another six years, they will be nearly 25 years old and Roger about 45, and Novak as well as Rafa about 40! Perhaps the Sinner and Musetti generation would see an end to the era of the geezers in tennis. There’s no stopping the eternal fountain of hope!