On Sunday, Sinner won in two sets 6−4, 6−4 against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening match of the final tournament of the season, which gathers the eight best players of the year.
With the audience’s ovation, Sinner lived up to the expectations of the Italian fans with sharp shots from the baseline and a strong serve.
At 22, Sinner has won four titles this year, including his first Masters 1000. He is fourth in the ATP rankings – becoming the highest-ranked Italian since Adriano Panatta almost 50 years ago.
Sinner even showed some of his new touch when he hit a backhand lob winner early in the second set.
Then, on his first match point, Sinner made an ace from the other side of the court to end the match in one hour and 25 minutes.
It was Sinner’s 14th indoor victory this year, with only one loss.
“The game went really well and the crowd support was crazy,” Sinner said on the pitch as fans chanted his name. It’s not just about getting better, it’s about where you’re going. And the destination I wanted to reach this year was here.”
Tsitsipas, the 2019 tournament champion, stopped practice on Friday with an apparent hand problem.
Later in the Green Group, Novak Djokovic will be able to reignite his budding rivalry with Holger Rune. The Serbian needs just one more victory to secure the top spot in the year-end rankings for a record eighth time.
On Monday, in the Red Group, Carlos Alcaraz will play against Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev will play against Andrei Rublev.
The two best players from each group advance to the semi-finals.