Sofia Open: Jannik Sinner beats Alex De Minaur in the battle of Next-Gen
Sinner through to the semi-finals (Sofiaopen.bg)

Jannik Sinner booked his spot in the semi-finals in a three-set win over Aussie and fellow next-gen Alex De Minaur 6-7, 6-4, and 6-1.

A tightly contested first set :

After both players held their opening service games the Aussie had three early break points thanks to a couple of unforced errors from the Italian. The number three seed and highest seed remaining broke at the second time of asking forcing once again the unforced error from the world number 44 to take an early 2-1 lead.

The San Candido, Italy native responded right away by earning a breakpoint of his own in the very next game off an error from the Sydney, Australia native. He would break back and we were back on serve at 2-2 and the battle continued.

The first set would be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker, the world number 25 took it by a score of 7-3 to win the first set 7-6 playing some great tennis and using his aggressive style to great effect.

The Italian response :

The second set was almost like the first with both players doing a good job of holding serve and we didn't see a breakpoint until 3-3 when the Italian had a chance to take the lead but the Aussie would save it with a big serve that was unreturnable.

The world number 44 didn't give up and set up another breakpoint with an amazing forehand winner down the line, he would break the Aussie serve the next point as De Minaur would send a ball out and Sinner had a 4-3 lead.

The number three seed tried to break back the very next game earning two breakpoints off an unforced error from the Italian but the world number 44 was up to the task of saving both and eventually holding serve.

The Aussie had two more chances to break when Sinner was serving for the second set but the Italian again saved both as De Minaur kept hitting unforced errors. The 19-year-old would serve out the second set to take it 6-4 and force a decider.

Italian dominance :

If we were expecting the third to be as tight as the first two sets you would be surprised to find out it wasn't. The Italian broke the Aussie serve in the first game of the set and ran away with it.

He would break once again with a scintillating forehand winner down the line to take a commanding 3-0 lead and was halfway to the semi-final.

He would hold serve and at 5-1 served for the match which he did with ease to take it 6-1. He will now face Adrian Mannarino in the semi-finals on Friday.

" When you play these matches you have a bit of extra pressure, I tried to find a balance on court, he played well, I was prepared mentally every point and I played the right way in the third set".

Mannarino booked his spot in the semis by beating Radu Albot in three sets 6-2, 1-6, and 6-3. Albot was coming off a big win vs Denis Shapovalov in the previous round but couldn't keep the momentum going vs Mannarino.

" I'm happy with the result and I just want to keep going this way, I think my game has improved since last year, I feel really good on court and I am playing well".

Vasek Pospisil booked his spot in the semis after beating John Millman in straight sets 6-3 and 6-2 using his aggressive game style to frustrate his Australian opponent. 

" That's probably one of the cleanest matches I have ever played, I think I could have moved a bit better, serving, returning, striking the ball extremely well so pretty much it was close to a flawless match today".

He will face Richard Gasquet who beat Salvatore Caruso 7-6, 7-5, Gasquet was up 7-6, 5-2 before the Italian stormed back to try and level the match but the Frenchman was able to hang on for the win.

" I fight, I try my best, it was a big match, I played really well, he played with no pressure and had a lot of great shots which was really tough for me but it was a good match physically and I played great on court, I'm happy to win three match in a row and to be able to play semis tomorrow.”

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