Picture: Jannik Sinner trains in Halle on grass

Jannik Sinner will lead the ATP 500 Halle draw next week

by Jovica Ilic
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Picture: Jannik Sinner trains in Halle on grass
© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner will play his first match as world no. 1 at the ATP 500 event in Halle next week! The Italian arrived in Halle and trained on the grass court on Friday, preparing for the prestigious tournament and becoming the ninth reigning Major winner in the Halle draw! Jannik is 33-3 in 2024, passing Novak Djokovic after Roland Garros and becoming the 29th world no. 1 in ATP history. The Italian lifted his first Major title in Melbourne following impressive wins over Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. He conquered Rotterdam and Miami in the upcoming months, reducing the gap to Djokovic and passing him this week. Jannik will seek his fourth consecutive ATP 500 crown, conquering Beijing and Vienna last year and celebrating in Rotterdam this February. Sinner debuted in Halle last year. He defeated Richard Gasquet and Lorenzo Sonego in three sets and moved into the quarter-final.

Carlos Alcaraz & Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024
Carlos Alcaraz & Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport
 

Seeking his first semi-final since Monte Carlo in April, Jannik retired versus Alexander Bublik while trailing 7-5, 2-0 after 57 minutes. The Italian strained his adductor while sliding during the attempt to reach one of the Kazakh's drop shots. The young gun suffered an injury that forced him to quit, not risking more serious issues ahead of the third Major of the season at Wimbledon, which was the right decision. Bulbik lost serve once in the opener and responded with two return games on his tally, securing the late break in the opener and forging an early advantage in the second before his rival decided to quit. Jannik would reach the semi-final at the All England Club, and he aims for another strong run on the fastest surface as the world's best player. Sinner should stay on the ATP throne at least until August, defending fewer ATP points than Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic during the grass swing.

Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024
Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

Jannik Sinner trained in Halle on grass on Friday.

Jannik failed to win back-to-back Major titles, losing in the Roland Garros semi-final to Carlos after a massive battle. Sinner built two advantages before falling 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in four hours and nine minutes, suffering his first loss at Majors in 2024. Carlos took charge from the fourth set, producing 11 comfortable holds since the end of the third set and mounting the pressure on his opponent. Both players grabbed six breaks, and the Spaniard delivered his return games in the pivotal moments, beating his great rival and moving into the final. Jannik struggled physically, feeling cramps and discomfort around his troubled hip. He gave everything to prevail, but Carlos overpowered him despite taking two points fewer than the Italian. Sinner took charge in the early stage, delivering two breaks for a 4-0 advantage and taking the opener 6-2. Jannik clinched another break early in the second set before Carlos started his comeback.

Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024
Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

The Spaniard pulled the break back in game four with a forehand winner and forged the advantage with another two games later for 4-2. Alcaraz clinched the set with a service winner at 5-3, leveling the overall score at 1-1 after an hour and a half. Despite physical issues, Jannik overpowered Carlos in the third set, securing back-to-back breaks and holding at 15 in game nine for 6-3, standing a set away from his second consecutive Major final. The Spaniard raised his level behind the initial shot in the fourth set and clinched a late break in game ten for 6-4, forcing a decider after three hours and 15 minutes. Carlos held at the beginning of the final set and clinched a break in the second game with a forehand winner, extending his streak and moving closer to the finish line. A drop shot winner sent the Spaniard 3-0 in front, gathering a boost and breaking the rival's resistance. Sinner painted a backhand down the line winner in the fourth game, holding at 30 and ending his downfall. Alcaraz survived two deuces in the fifth game, bringing it home and maintaining the lead.

Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024
Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

The Italian closed the sixth game at love, remaining within one break deficit and overcoming a 40-15 deficit in the next one for a deuce after a smash winner. Carlos stayed focused and clinched the game with a service winner, opening a 5-2 gap and forcing his rival to serve to stay in the match. Sinner held with a service winner, reducing the deficit to 5-3 and hoping for one last chance on the return. Carlos earned a match point, and Jannik denied it with a forced error for a deuce. The Spaniard generated the second match point with a service winner and squandered it with a wild forehand. Alcaraz earned the third match point with another powerful serve and converted it after drawing Sinner's mistake, celebrating a spot in the final. Jannik and Carlos are taking a week off before returning to action in Halle and Queen's, leading the draws of the strongest pre-Wimbledon grass-court events. 

Jannik Sinner
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