LONDON, July 2 ― Italian youngster Jannik Sinner could not tame American John Isner's heavy-duty serving but the 10th seed had enough other weapons in his armoury to win 6-4 7-6(4) 6-3 and sail into the fourth round at Wimbledon yesterday.
Sinner lost in the first round in his Wimbledon main draw debut last year but the highly-rated 20-year-old has reached at least the fourth round of his next four Grand Slams since then.
Yesterday's win made the 10th-seeded Sinner the youngest Italian in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon fourth round while setting up a mouth-watering clash of young guns against 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who was equally impressive in his 6-3 6-1 6-2 win over Oscar Otte.
Sinner said he was “good friends” with Alcaraz outside the court.
“It's obviously tough to say,” the Italian replied when asked if their rivalry would become an important one in men's tennis. “I mean, I hope I can be part of this, for sure.
“But everyone has his own way. I still have to work a lot. So let's see what the future gives me and Carlos. We are both young. We are both great tennis players and good people. Yeah, hopefully this can be the case.
“But, I'm not thinking so much about that. I'm thinking about my way where I have to go. Obviously there is a lot of work to do.” Isner slammed down 24 aces against Sinner to beat Ivo Karlovic's 13,728 and claim the record but the American had no answer to the 20-year-old Italian's all-court game and powerful groundstrokes.
Undeterred by the booming serves from Isner, who ousted twice former champion Andy Murray in the second round, Sinner kept a lid on his unforced errors and dominated the rallies in a match of small margins.
Sinner, whose best results at the majors are quarter-final appearances at the 2020 French Open and this year's Australian Open, converted two of his four break points on the highly-regarded Isner serve.
He did not allow the 20th-seeded Isner a single opportunity on his own serve while breaking the American once in the first and third sets.
“Playing against John is never easy. Obviously very happy to be in the next round,” Sinner said.
“It was a match (in which) I was not expecting many rallies. He was serving well. I'm happy to be through. I hope he is physically is okay because in third set he was struggling.” ― Reuters