An 18-year-old Jannik Sinner has been one of the youngsters to watch since the beginning of the last season, making impressive progress through the ATP ranking list and finishing in the top-80. Like all the other players, the young Italian is forced to sit and wait for the news about the possible restart of the season that has been halted since early March due to a coronavirus, giving an interview for the Sky Sport and speaking about his most favorite victories so far.
The first triumph that came to his mind was that tight 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Steve Johnson in Rome last year, receiving the wild card for the home Masters 1000 event ranked 263rd and delivering the first win for 2001 generation at the Masters 1000 level.
The 17-year-old made the worst possible start, losing the opener in 21 minutes before finding his best tennis in set number two, closing it with a forehand winner in the seventh game to force a decider where he trailed 5-2, standing on the verge of the exit door.
Jannik fended off the match point in the eighth game and landed a forehand down the line winner in the next game to steal Johnson's serve and get back on the positive side of the scoreboard. With the momentum on his side, the youngster grabbed another break at 5-5 and sealed the deal with a service winner in the next game, rattling off five straight games and reaching another milestone in what had already been an excellent season for him.
The second notable victory for Jannik also came in front of the partisan crowd, this time at the Next Gen Finals in Milan where he went all the way to become the third champion of this event after Hyeon Chung and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
In the title match, Jannik toppled the top seed and the last year's finalist Alex de Minaur 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 in swift 64 minutes, leaving the top-20 rival far behind and standing tall in front of the home fans that carried him over the top.
Producing incredible shotmaking that left the Aussie with no answer, a teenager fired 16 winners and unforced errors, keeping the points on his racquet and reducing de Minaur to only seven winners and ten unforced errors, completely outplaying the opponent who grabbed all four wins before the title clash.
Jannik destroyed Alex in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes, hitting a service winner in 30% of all the points behind the initial shot and standing just behind the Aussie in the more advanced rallies to seal the deal in no time at all.
The Italian made the difference with the second serve and also in the pivotal moments that gave him the edge, fending off all nine break chances and delivering one break in each set to find himself over the top in straight sets and with the trophy in his hands.
Both players fended off two break chances in the opening games of the encounter and it was Sinner who delivered a break at love in the sixth game for a 4-2 after 22 minutes. The Italian had to play against no less than seven break chances in set number two, repelling them all with some bold hitting and securing a break at love in game two that sent him further in front.
Serving at 3-1, Sinner blasted two winners to erase two break chances, wrapping up the set and looking good to seal the deal in the next one after another injection of momentum. Jannik barely lost a point on serve in the third set and Alex failed to repeat those numbers, getting broken in game three and allowing his opponent to clinch the victory with three winners in game six.