ATP 250 Sofia: Sinner dominates Vukic, flies to the semifinals


Jannik Sinner (photo Sofia Open)

He struggles at first, then takes off and touches a Jannik Sinner space game level in the quarter-finals of Sofia’s ATP 250. The blue dominates the Australian Aleksandar Vukic 6-3 6-3 and flies to the semifinal in the Bulgarian tournamentwhere the winner of the match between Ivashka and Rune awaits. A truly remarkable performance for Jannik, who confirms himself as one of the most effective tennis players in the world in indoor eventsconditions that enhance his aggressive tennis in progression, made up of devastating accelerations and a very high risk coefficient.

The start of the match was anything but easy for Sinner: he is stiff at serve, he cannot find the pitch. He commits three double faults and many mistakes. Having saved four break points, he decides to “deliberately row”, he does not feel the ball, he needs to melt and hit a lot to regain confidence and feeling. A couple of games are enough to enter the match, find the field and the right distance from the ball, and then lead the match. From 2 all he puts the turbo, raises the pace and depth of his shots, becomes terribly aggressive in every situation. With the serve he picks up the rhythm and in his batting rounds he is no longer played. In an amen he finds a level of play unthinkable for Vukic, the gap between the two becomes an abyss. The Australian is forced not only to chase but to play at speeds and rhythms that are unsustainable for him. Dominate the first set Jannik and immediately run away in the second. Ahead 4-2 he is distracted for a moment, gives up a turn of service but immediately resumes the break and closes, flying in “semi”, 11 victories in a row in Sofia, where he is still unbeaten.

A really good performance for Jannik. He was clearly favored, he played a good match, especially for how he managed to overcome the initial difficulty but also for the many solutions he tried. You play different from his usual pressing with which he crushes the opponent. Strong of the advantage, he took the opportunity to risk different schemes. He often threw himself into the net with his backhand, let his arm run a lot and also enjoyed exploring the pitch with extreme angles and sudden lunges. An arrembante, almost extreme tactic, which cost him a few too many mistakes since 3-0 in the second set, but they are unforced “exploratory”. When he was called to close the match he granted the break point: he canceled it with the ACE, the paw of the champion at the ideal moment. A good Sinner, who qualifies for the semifinal. Well so, full speed ahead now.

Marco Mazzoni

The match report

Sinner starts the match in service. Immediately an Ace, then the first does not go, including a double fault. A few mistakes too many, the ball slips away a bit. He goes to the advantages, and the second double foul of the game costs him a break point. He cancels it with a powerful right from the left corner. With a powerful first he also cancels the second ball, but with the third double foul of the game he gives the Australian of Serbian origin the third chance. Jannik imposes a nice pace, Vukic makes a mistake with the forehand. Saving 4 break points, Sinner finally wins the first game of the match. More comfortable the first turn of service for Vukic, precise with his forehand, rather heavy blow when he manages to play it with balance. 1 even. In the fourth game Sinner responds deeply, Vukic takes a risk but makes a mistake. 0-30. Jannik does not take advantage of the opportunity, he looks for the super-aggressive response but comes out a little. The first break ball in favor of the blue comes to the advantages. He saves himself with heavy service and right. 2 even. With the right, Aleksandar stands up to the South Tyrolean in the exchange. Sinner stretches in the sixth game. He plays very solid from the center of the field, punishes an attack deflected by the Australian’s tape, and then overturns like a champion with the backhand a defense in attack, closed in flight. 15-40 for the blue, who takes the break by opening the whole corner, first with the backhand and then with the forehand. 4-2, and partial of 8 points to 1. After a slow start, even the first service gets into rhythm. With three consecutive Ace Jannik consolidates the lead on 5-2, and partial of 12 points to 2. He also tries the damped, strong of the advantage. Sinner wants to close the set immediately, obtains the first set point with a powerful response on 40 even. Jannik’s pace was too intense for Aleksandar. With the fourth game in a row, he closes the first set 6-2 in 38 minutes. After the uncertain departure, Sinner ran away by imposing his blows, which were too intense and deeper.

Sinner starts the second set in service and continues to hammer from every position, with the first ball, with the deep forehand in the long line, with the backhand diagonal. Solutions in which the gap with the Australian is at times embarrassing, he cannot physically hold up and put the ball back. From the middle of the first set, the more than 100 different positions in the ranking are visible, the two play at different rhythms and angles. He wins the first round of service to zero, and literally flies on the Jannik network, finding a beautiful reverse flight closure, even stylistically. Straight to straight, he pushes all Jannik, Vukic is overwhelmed. 0-30 and then 0-40, with another exchange dominated by the center of the field and closed with a winning right in advance. Three immediate break points to take off also in the second set. The first is enough, Vukic is slow to run to the right, he doesn’t have enough control at these speeds. 2-0 Sinner, and sixth game in a row from 2 all in the first set (partial from the fifth game is 25 points to 5!). Sinner is totally in control of the field. Everything tries “Jan”, and everything succeeds, even a foray into the feline net, a bit reckless but spectacular. With yet another straight trip, Sinner is 3-0. He enjoys risking difficult solutions, other than Janniks, to test patterns and trajectories. He exaggerates a bit, and Vukic finally returns to win a game, 3-1. At 4-2 comes a small blank pass for the blue, who loses the first serve collapses 15-40 (good Vukic to risk in response). He cancels the first chance with a powerful right along the line from the left; he exaggerates with a right cross after a long exchange, and concedes the double break. He remains 4-3 ahead, but now Vukic is needed. It is only a moment: force a lot and well in response, Vukic does not contain. He loses his turn and Sinner serves at 5-3 to close. He does not take advantage of two match points, he gets distracted again and with a badly centered smash he concedes a break point. He cancels it with an Ace, external, impregnable, the ninth of the match. Class hit when it was necessary to find the help of the service. By winning a difficult skirmish at the net, Jannik gets the third match point. He flies long Vukic’s answer, it ends here. He returns to the semi-final in the tournament, where he is undefeated (11 wins). A good Sinner will be the man to beat in his “his” tournament. Dreaming of an all-blue final, anything but impossible.

ATP Sofia

Jannik Sinner [1]



Aleksandar Vukic



Winner: Sinner

9 ACES 2
30/60 (50%) FIRST SERVES 25/50 (50%)
25/30 (83%) 1ST SERVE POINTS WON 12/25 (48%)
17/30 (57%) 2ND SERVE POINTS WON 11/25 (44%)
6/7 (86%) BREAK POINTS SAVED 1/5 (20%)
13/25 (52%) 1ST SERVE RETURN POINTS WON 5/30 (17%)
14/25 (56%) 2ND SERVE RETURN POINTS WON 13/30 (43%)
4/5 (80%) BREAK POINTS CONVERTED 1/7 (14%)
8/10 (80%) NET POINTS WON 1/11 (9%)
42/60 (70%) SERVICE POINTS WON 23/50 (46%)
27/50 (54%) RETURN POINTS WON 18/60 (30%)
69/110 (63%) TOTAL POINTS WON 41/110 (37%)
214 km / h MAX SPEED 203 km / h
201 km / h 1ST SERVES AVERAGE SPEED 193 km / h
157 km / h 2ND SERVES AVERAGE SPEED 156 km / h


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