2020 in Review: Jannik Sinner tops Stefanos Tsitsipas at home in Rome

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2020 in Review: Jannik Sinner tops Stefanos Tsitsipas at home in Rome

In 2019, Jannik Sinner earned the first Masters 1000 victory for the 2001 generation at home in Rome against Steve Johnson in a tight clash. Working on his game ever since, Jannik is a far more superior player in comparison to May 2019, improving all the elements of his game to challenge the rivals from the top-50.

Competing in Rome with a wild card, Jannik defeated Benoit Paire in just over an hour for his second Masters 1000 victory, setting the second-round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek was the one who toppled Jannik in front of his fans last year, and a teenager was ready to serve revenge, beating Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 in two hours and 13 minutes for his second top-10 triumph.

Jannik had the upper hand in the Next Gen ATP Finals champions battle, dominating sets one and three to cross the finish line and enter the last 16. The Italian had won 11 out of the first 14 games before Tsitsipas found a way to bounce back and remain competitive, reaching a decider where Sinner left him behind.

Jannik lost serve twice from three break chances offered to Stefanos, stealing the rival's serve seven times from 14 opportunities to move over the top. Sinner had 27 winners and 39 unforced errors while Tsitsipas stayed on modest 16 winners and almost 60 mistakes, unable to challenge a teenager in sets he lost.

Jannik had the upper hand in the opener, dropping two points on serve and delivering three breaks for 6-1 in 30 minutes. Tsitsipas got broken in the first game following a forehand winner from Sinner, who wasted two more break opportunities in the third game before winning four straight points at 3-1 to open a massive advantage.

Jannik Sinner toppled Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach last 16 in Rome.

From 40-15 in game seven, Tsitsipas gave serve away for the third time after a double fault, having to raise his level if he wanted to fight for the win.

Jannik secured a break in the second set's game two to forge a 5-2 advantage, serving for a commanding triumph in game nine. With no room for errors, Stefanos broke back and leveled the score at 5-5, delivering another break at 5-5 to serve for the set.

Sinner erased the deficit in the last moment to reach a tie break that saw 20 points, with Tsitsipas fending off two match points at 6-7 and 8-9 and stealing it 11-9 after a massive forehand error from Sinner. Leaving the second part of the encounter quickly behind him, Sinner stormed over Tsitsipas in the decider, rattling off 16 straight points behind the initial shot and stealing the opponent's serve in games one and three for the crucial advantage.

The Italian broke in the first game with a cracking forehand down the line winner, seized another two games later and held at love for a 4-0 lead. Producing one hold at love after another, Jannik sealed the deal at 5-2, racing over the finish line and setting the Grigor Dimitrov clash.