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Tennis News – Sinner Sinks Monfils In Antwerp, Sets Up NextGen Showdown Against Tiafoe

By Ricky Dimon

The future appears to be now at the European Open, where Jannik Sinner toppled No. 1 seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 during second-round action on Thursday. Sinner saved the only break point he faced and broke Monfils four times while cruising in exactly one hour.

“I played a very solid game,” the 18-year-old Italian assessed. “He didn’t play his best tennis, for sure. It’s not easy if you make the final the year before and then to come here to play a young player and wild card. I think I played solid today. I served [well] on the important points and I think that was the key today.”

Next up for Sinner in the quarterfinals on Friday is a showdown against Frances Tiafoe in what could be a preview of an upcoming NextGen ATP Finals match in Milan. Sinner has a wild card into the event as Italy’s top NextGen hope while Tiafoe is No. 5 in the race and a lock to qualify for a return trip to Milan.

The 21-year-old American took care of Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday in Antwerp.

“I’m feeling really good,” Tiafoe commented. “I definitely needed this one. The last couple weeks haven’t been great for me, even the last couple months. To win two good matches back-to-back is very good.”

“He played very [well] today,” Sinner said of Tiafoe. “I watched a little bit of the match. He’s a good player, of course. I’m going to try my best and try to enjoy every single moment out there.”

Meanwhile, Andy Murray continues to enjoy his comeback more and more. The 32-year-old Scot seems to improving with each week and he now finds himself in the Antwerp quarterfinals following Thursday’s 6-4, 6-2 rout of Pablo Cuevas. Murray will be favored in his next match, too, after Marius Copil upset No. 3 seed Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(7).

An intriguing quarterfinal lineup also includes Stan Wawrinka vs. Gilles Simon. The two veterans scored respective victories over Feliciano Lopez and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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