World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was defeated by Italian Jannik Sinner (4th) 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2) after a long iron hand of 3:08 at the ATP Masters, Tuesday at Torino, and in order to reach the semi-finals, they will have to beat Pole Hubert Hurkacz (9th).
Spurred on by the crowd, the 22-year-old Italian created a sensation by beating the 36-year-old Serb, winner of 24 Grand Slam tournaments and recent winner of the Masters 1000 in Paris, for the first time in his career.
A hard-fought winner in his first match against Denmark’s Holger Rune, also after more than three hours, Djokovic came through to Sinner this time, particularly impressing by leading the deciding game of the final round. The Italian, who will face Rune in the final match, can still qualify for this very undecided green group.
In the first round, the two remained equal for a long time. While Djokovic had just scored his third shutout, Sinner got back to 5-5 and even got a break point when the Serb double-faulted after a 40-0 lead.
The Italian did not miss the opportunity to take control and serve to win the set. The round that Sinner won with full confidence thanks to his shot against Djokovic, who became more feverish (7-5).
In a more uneven start to the second set for the Italian, Đoković could rely on his serve. But the Italian also found an effective throw at the right moment to level the score at 2-2 by scoring his 9th ace of the match, as well as his opponent. Đoković, especially thanks to the additional two aces, easily won the next game, but Sinner did not give up again (3-3).
Still very solid on the serve (a total of 20 aces for Đoković, 15 for Sinner), the two players continued with mano a mano until 6-6. In a very tight decisive match, the Serb had two set points. He wasted the first by sending a forehand into the net. Serving in the second moment, the return to the opponent’s net brought the world No. 1 player the second set 7-6 (7/5).
But Sinner, far from conceding defeat, broke Đoković in the last round and took a 4-2 lead. The Serbian, however, immediately erased the advantage by taking away his opponent’s serve for the first time in this match, before entering the game thanks to the shot (4-4). The Italian retaliated… by sending him off.
Still tied (6-6), the two players had to decide again in the deciding game. This time, the Italian was much stronger than his famous elder and finished 7-6 (7/2)
Previously, in the same group, Holger Rune, 8th in the world, won against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (6th), who had to withdraw after only three games due to a back injury.
The 20-year-old Dane, this year’s quarterfinalist at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, remains in the race for a place in the semifinals.
Polish Hubert Hurkacz will replace Tsitsipas in the group and will face Djokovic on Thursday. In six fights, the Serb always defeated the Pole.