ATP Barcelona: Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Jannik Sinner. Is Rafael Nadal next?

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ATP Barcelona: Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Jannik Sinner. Is Rafael Nadal next?

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been the player to beat in the early stages of the spring clay swing, delivering nine straight victories and claiming all 17 sets! Following the first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo last week, the young Greek went to Barcelona and remained on the same course, toppling four rivals to advance into the title clash.

In the semis, Stefanos ousted Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 23 minutes, beating the young Italian for the second time in three encounters, all on clay. The Greek fended off all four break chances to mount the pressure on the other side, and Jannik couldn't keep up with that pace, suffering three breaks from ten opportunities offered to world no.

5 and ending his run in the semis. Stefanos claimed the opening game with a backhand down the line winner and earned two break chances in the next one, only to spray a forehand mistake and miss the opportunity to grab an early lead.

Jannik closed the game with powerful forehands to get his name on the scoreboard and held at 30 at 1-2 to level the score and stay in contention.

Stefanos Tsitsipas toppled Jannik Sinner for the second Barcelona Open final.

Serving in game five, Stefanos fended off two break chances with winners and secured it with a backhand down the line winner for a 3-2 advantage.

Jannik saved a break point in game six with a service winner before Stefanos stole a break at 4-3 after forcing the Italian's error. Serving for the set in game nine, the Greek landed a volley winner to bring it home in just over 40 minutes, hoping for more of the same in set number two.

Returners barely won a point in the second set's opening three service games before Tsitsipas faced five deuces and two break chances at 1-2. Sinner failed to convert those, which would cost him dearly, as he got broken in the next game.

In one of the encounter's crucial moments, Stefanos secured a break when Jannik netted a forehand to open a 3-2 advantage and move closer to the finish line. The Greek confirmed the lead with a service winner in game six and held from 30-0 down two games later to remain in front.

Serving at 3-5, Sinner netted an easy forehand to lose serve and propel his rival into the final, where he plays against Rafael Nadal or Pablo Carreno Busta.