Jannik Sinner sails past Pavel Kotov, remains on Roland Garros title course

Jannik Sinner is 31-2 in 2024, seeking his second Major title in Paris

by Jovica Ilic
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Jannik Sinner sails past Pavel Kotov, remains on Roland Garros title course
© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 2 Jannik Sinner will compete in the Roland Garros fourth round for the fourth time in the previous five years. Jannik faced Pavel Kotov in the third round and scored a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory in two hours and 27 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Thus, the Italian notched his 31st win from 33 matches in 2024, staying on the title course and increasing his chances of becoming world no. 1 after Roland Garros. Kotov ousted the former champion Stan Wawrinka in the second round after a great battle.

However, the Russian could not produce a stunner versus the Italian, creating only one break chance and feeling the pressure in his games. Jannik produced fine numbers behind the first and second serve, defending that lone break point and generating 13 opportunities on the return.

Sinner converted three, delivering a single break in each set and moving into the next round. World no. 2 landed 36 winners and 21 unforced errors, leaving his rival on a positive 30-26 ratio.

Jannik Sinner & Pavel Kotov, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Interestingly, Kotov followed Sinner's pace in the shortest and mid-range rallies.

The Australian Open champion built the difference in the most advanced ones, dominating the exchanges with nine shots or more and bringing the victory home in that segment. Pavel made a reliable start and landed a backhand crosscourt winner in the first game of the encounter for a 1-0 lead.

Sinner responded with a service winner in game two and made a push on the return in the next one. World no. 2 painted a forehand crosscourt winner for two break chances. The Russian denied them with strong hitting and two winners before the Italian extended the game with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Pavel erased the third break point with a service winner and held for a 2-1 advantage. Jannik left those chances behind and held with a powerful serve in the fourth game before embracing another push on the return in the next one.

Kotov hit a double fault and offered Sinner two break chances.

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

Jannik Sinner defeated Pavel Kotov in the third round in Paris.

The Russian denied them with winners but missed a game point after the Italian's return winner.

Jannik generated the third break chance and converted it after drawing the rival's mistake, forging a 3-2 advantage. Sinner cemented the lead in game six after Kotov's loose drop shot, and his rival responded with a fine hold after a service winner.

Jannik clinched the eighth game at love, forcing Pavel to serve to stay in the set at 3-5. The Russian grabbed the ninth game with a forehand winner, hoping for his first return chances in the next one. Instead, Sinner landed a drop shot winner for a set point and seized it after Kotov's forehand error, sealing the opener 6-4 after 50 minutes.

Jannik survived that lone break point in the second set and tested Pavel's skills in two return games, delivering one break and moving closer to the finish line. Kotov held at 30 in the first game, and Sinner responded with a hold at love a few minutes later after a booming serve.

Pavel Kotov, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Russian faced issues behind the initial shot in the third game. He denied two break points before facing the third after the Italian's drop shot winner.

Kotov netted a backhand, losing serve and falling behind. Sinner cracked a backhand down the line winner in the fourth game to cement the advantage before facing the first and only problems behind the initial shot at 3-2. Jannik sprayed a forehand error and offered Pavel a break point.

The Italian denied it with a service winner and drew the Russian's mistake for a notable hold and 4-2. Sinner fired a forehand down the line winner in the seventh game and generated two break points. Pavel saved them and erased the third with a forced error, bringing the game home and remaining within one break deficit.

World no. 2 clinched an extended rally in the eighth game and closed it with a service winner, moving 5-3 in front and forcing his rival to serve to stay in the set.

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

Kotov produced a fine hold, wrapping up the game at love with a service winner and seeking his last chance on the return at 4-5.

Jannik drew Pavel's mistake for two set points and fired an ace on the first, opening a 6-4, 6-4 advantage after an hour and 41 minutes. They produced nine comfortable holds in the third set, and world no. 2 made the difference with a single break.

Sinner closed the second game after a deuce and locked the result at 2-2 with a service winner two games later. The decisive moment came in game five. Jannik passed Pavel at the net with a winner, creating two break points. Kotov sprayed a costly forehand error, falling behind and sending Sinner closer to the finish line.

Sinner cemented the lead with a service winner in game six, opening a 4-2 gap and sailing toward the finish line. Jannik grabbed the eighth game with a drop shot winner, forging a 5-3 advantage and forcing Pavel to serve to stay in the match.

The Russian landed a backhand winner in the ninth game, staying in touch before world no. 2 moved over the top with an ace at 5-4, holding at love and booking a place in the last 16.

Jannik Sinner Pavel Kotov Roland Garros
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