(Roma) Seven months ago, Jannik Sinner had two chances for a feat accomplished by a few other tennis players: winning a tour against Rafael Nadal at the French Open.
The young Italian was leading 6-5 in the opening round of the quarter-finals, and had a breakout priority in the second round. He lost both chances and was eliminated in three consecutive rounds.
However, Sinner, who is still 19 years old, learned a lot on that chilly October evening, and has since climbed the ATP rankings to reach the top 20.
On Monday, Sener easily beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Italian tennis championship, where he will meet Nadal in his next match at Foro Italico.
Sener said: “I think at Roland Garros, I had the right stance, and I would have to do the same on Tuesday (or Wednesday, the likely day to introduce this match).
“I also know I have more tools that I have improved.”
In fact, Sinner improved, and fast. This year he reached his first final at the Masters tournament in Miami, won the Australian Open, qualified for the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open last month and won 20 times.e In 2021 after their domination of Humbert.
One fact remains: dueling against Nadal on the clay court is the biggest challenge in tennis. The Spaniard won the Italian Open on nine occasions, a record.
“He’s faced situations like this before during his career. I started doing that, Sinner recalls. From now on, I need these matches to better understand the sport.”
Sinner and Nadal trained together for two weeks when they arrived in Australia earlier this year, so they are familiar with the gameplay and style of play.
“This sport consists of specific situations.” In every situation, you have to find the right solution, “said Sener.
“There is no doubt that he will put me in all sorts of (different) situations. Same thing with (Novak Djokovic). They get there more than the other players because they won more often and played a lot of matches.” “It will be a difficult match.”
Additionally, American Taylor Fritz of Britain’s Daniel Evans was knocked out 6-3 6-2 and will cross with world number one Djokovic in the second round on Tuesday.
The Serbian won a fifth title in Rome during the 2020 edition in September.
In other men’s singles matches on Monday, Japanese Ki Nishikori beat Italian Fabio Fonnini 6-3 6-4, and Italian Stefano Travaglia did the same over Frenchman Benoit Bayer 6-4.
Bayer said he was not feeling 100% after being vaccinated against the Coronavirus two days earlier.
Italy Gianluca Majer, 90e In the world and the holder of the pass from the tournament organizers caused a big surprise by beating 23-ranked Australian Alex de Minor.e, 6-4, 6-3.
Tuesday will see Quebecer Félix Auger-Aliassime, 21e In the second round, he faces eighth-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
Also in the second round was Canadian Denis Shapovalov, 13 years olde The seeded player, will play his first match in the tournament against Poland’s Camille Majsherzak, a player from the qualifiers.
Elsewhere, Shapovalov and his Indian partner Rohan Bobana were eliminated from the men’s husbands, losing 6-4, 6-4 to New Zealand’s Marcus Daniel and Austrian Philip Oswald.
The first day of the women’s singles activity saw three marathon matches. Two of the players who emerged victorious will face it in the second round.
Greek Maria Scary 17e The seed, it took 2 hours and 48 minutes to knock out Slovenian Polona Hercogs 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2.
In the second round, she will face American Corey Goff, who spent 2.57 hours on the field before defeating Kazakhi Yulia Pottseva, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Meanwhile, Petra Martic of Croatia beat Shelby Rogers 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 with a time of 2:29.
Another leader in the matches on Monday was Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, 11e The seeded, regained strength after her dominance in the opening round to finally defeat Polish Magda Linette, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2.
Ija Swiatik, another Polish woman, reached the second round after American Allison Riske withdrew with an injury to her left foot. Swatik, the defending champion, led the French Open 5-4 in the first set.