In the battle of two #NextGenATP stars, it was Jannik Sinner who came out on top on Thursday at the Citi Open in Washington as the fifth-seeded Italian overcame American Sebastian Korda 7-6(3), 7-6(3) to reach the quarter-finals.
The 19-year-old snapped a four-match losing streak in his opening round victory against Emil Ruusuvuori and backed this up against Korda, serving well and battling back from 2-5 down in the second set to advance in one hour and 56 minutes.
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Sinner is currently No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Race To Milan, two spots ahead of Korda in third. The Italian was victorious at the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne earlier this year and became just the fourth teenager to reach the final at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.
Both players struck the ball with great depth in the first set as they looked to dictate from the baseline. After Sinner broke to lead 5-4, he was unable to serve the set out, as Korda found good angles on return to move the 19-year-old around. However, the Italian regained focus and raised his level to come through the tie-break to move ahead.
After receiving treatment at the end of the first set, Korda began to have more joy on return in the second set. He stepped inside the baseline to attack Sinner’s serve with his variety of shot racing 5-2 ahead. However, with the match looking set to go to a decider, Sinner began to disrupt Korda’s rhythm to gain both breaks back and level at 5-5. Sinner then played aggressively in the tie-break to seal victory.
Korda won his first ATP Tour title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma in May and broke into the top 50 for the first time following this triumph. The American was also making his debut in Washington. Korda and Sinner will team up in the doubles later on Thursday