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Sinner Surprises Top-Seeded Tsitsipas for First Top 3 Win in Rotterdam

Jannik Sinner beat Australian Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas for the first time on a hard court in Rotterdam. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Patience is a priority in point construction, but Jannik Sinner was intent on indoor destruction today.

Seeking his first win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in nearly three years, Sinner was in no mood to play the waiting game.

Stepping into the court, Sinner banged a backhand down the line to seal the first Top 3 win of his career.

The unseeded Sinner won 24 of 27 first-serve points toppling top-seeded Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-3 to storm into the Rotterdam quarterfinals.

Dutch wild card Gijs Brouwer gave fans in Rotterdam reason to roar upsetting fourth-seeded Holger Rune for the biggest win of his career.

World No. 160 Brouwer won eight straight games seizing a 6-4, 4-0 lead when Paris Masters champion Rune retired after 73 minutes.

Brouwer’s triumph sets up an all-Dutch quarterfinal against Tallon Griekspoor, who upset Olympic gold-medal champion Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday.

Determined to avenge his five-set loss to the Greek in the Australian Open fourth round last month, a sharp Sinner more than doubled the world No. 3’s winner output (20 to 8) defeating Tsitsipas for the first time since the 2020 Rome on red clay.

“It means a lot obviously,” Sinner said. “A lot of work behind. I’m very happy. I played some good tennis, very focused today. Hopefully I can keep it going but for sure, Stef is an incredible player. I have a lot of respect for him. He played incredible tennis this year already.

“I was looking forward to this match to be honest, after my win yesterday already. So I’m very happy about my performance today.”

It is Sinner’s sixth straight win coming four days after he conquered serve-and-volley titan Maxime Cressy in the Montpellier final for his seventh career title.

The 21-year-old Italian arrived in Rotterdam unseeded for the first time at a tournament since the 2021 Rome, breaking a streak of 36 straight seeded tournament starts.

In the past, Tsitsipas has dominated this rivalry winning five of six prior meetings with Sinner because of his strong serve, transition game and ability to attack with his forehand.

Sinner flipped the script today playing dynamic first-strike tennis.

In addition to a commanding first-serve performance, Sinner won 13 of 17 second-serve points, 12 of 15 trips to net and did not face a break point in a superb one hour, 21-minute victory. 

Overall, Sinner surrendered just seven points on serve. ATP wins leader Tsitsipas clanked his first double fault of the day donating the break to start the second set. Sinner backed up the break with a love hold for 2-0 and never looked back.

Even when the Australian Open finalist tested the Italian in the front court, Sinner delivered an answer with his back to net pulling of a sensation spinning backhand pass. 

World No. 14 Sinner will face three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka for a semifinal spot.

World No. 130 Wawrinka has won two of three meetings vs. Sinner, who defeated the Swiss in their most recent encounter in the 2022 Wimbledon first round.

World No. 130 Wawrinka has won two of three meetings vs. Sinner, who defeated the Swiss in their most recent encounter in the 2022 Wimbledon first round.