Jannik Sinner Joins Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal among the Halle Royalties

Jannik Sinner will seek his first grass-court title in Halle

by Jovica Ilic
Jannik Sinner Joins Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal among the Halle Royalties
© Thomas F. Starke / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

World no. 4 Jannik Sinner returns to the ATP 500 event in Halle in June, seeking his first grass-court ATP title. The organizers of the Terra Wortmann Open welcomed the Australia Open champion and added his name to the impressive list of reigning Major winners in the Halle draw!

Andre Agassi played as a reigning Major winner during the inaugural edition in 1993, with Yevgeny Kafelnikov joining the party in 1996. Richard Krajicek and Patrick Rafter followed in 1997 and 1999, and Marat Safin secured his place on a notable list in 2005 following his Australian Open triumph.

The Halle Open's most incredible champion, Roger Federer, fought for the title as a reigning Major winner eight times between 2004 and 2018.

Jannik Sinner, Halle 2023© Thomas F. Starke / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

His great rival Rafael Nadal joined the list in 2005, playing in Halle fresh after his first Major crown in Paris.

Daniil Medvedev became the eighth reigning Major champion in the Halle draw in 2022, and Sinner will be the ninth in four months. The young Italian conquered the Australian Open title in style a few weeks ago, dethroning Novak Djokovic in the semi-final and performing a massive comeback versus Daniil Medvedev in the title clash.

Jannik made his main-draw debut in Halle last year, beating Richard Gasquet and Lorenzo Sonego in three sets and moving into the quarter-final. Seeking his first semi-final since Monte Carlo in April, Sinner retired versus Alexander Bublik after trailing 7-5, 2-0 after 57 minutes.

Jannik Sinner will compete in Halle in June.

The Italian strained his adductor while sliding, trying to reach one of the Kazakh's drop shots and suffering an injury that forced him to quit, not risking more serious issues ahead of Wimbledon.

Jannik required a medical timeout after the opening set and retired after falling 2-0 down in the second. Bublik dropped serve once and secured three breaks from as many chances, taking the opener with a late return game before his rival retired.

They served well early on, with Alexander opening a 2-1 lead with a nice volley and Jannik locking the result at 2-2 with a hold at love. They fired more winners in games five and six, staying neck and neck after 19 minutes.

Sinner made the first wrong steps on serve in the eighth game, playing a loose forehand and falling 5-3 behind.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Handout / Handout - Getty Images Sport

Jannik fought well in the next one, defending a set point with a backhand crosscourt winner and pulling the break back with a drop shot winner, returning to the positive side.

Sinner held in game ten with a smash winner, adding more drama. Bublik recovered and held at 15 in game 11 for a 6-5 lead, securing a tie break. Instead of reaching it, Jannik faced three set points on serve in game 12. Alexander seized the first after passing his rival at the net, wrapping up the opener 7-5 after 43 minutes.

Sinner received a medical timeout off the court, but it did not help him. Jannik got broken in the second game of the second set after Alexander's forehand down the line winner, falling 2-0 behind and deciding to end his campaign.

The Italian recovered in the following weeks and reached the Wimbledon semi-final, falling to Novak Djokovic in straight sets after a massive battle in the third.

Jannik Sinner Roger Federer Rafael Nadal