Miami | Sinner storms to title

It didn’t turn out to be a classic final, but it certainly was a classic performance by Jannik Sinner who, after a nervy start, swept past the in-form Grigor Dimitrov to claim the Miami Open title in 74-minutes, in what was his third appearance in the championship round.

Today’s performance was really good. I’m just proud of how I handled the situation, it was not easy. Yeah, it was a really good two weeks. Jannik Sinner

The 22-year-old Italian has established himself in the first three months of the season, as the man to beat having played four events in which he has lost one match whilst collecting three titles, including the Australian Open.

For his efforts he has now risen to No.2 in the world rankings, overtaking his rival Carlos Alcaraz, who lost to Dimitrov in an epic Miami quarter final, and is placed 1015 points behind Novak Djokovic, who decided not to play Miami and is currently looking for a new coach.

And, on this current form Sinner could well be pressing him for that top slot over the coming months.

During his run to the final, Dimitrov had surprised everyone with the intensity, power and fluidity of his play and when he toppled the top seed Alcaraz in straight sets with some extraordinary play, the 32 year-old Bulgarian looked to have more than rediscovered the form which had given him 9 titles including the ATP Tour Finals in 2017.

And in the opening game he looked set to stamp his authority on his young opponent as the players swapped service games, holding his second service game comfortably to love.

Sinner’s response was eventually explosive after levelling at 2-2 having fought off a break point in the fourth game, by immediately capturing Dimitrov’s to claim the first break of the final.

He held for 4-2 and nearly pulled two breaks up, but Dimitrov held firm with some excellent play but there were now signs that Sinner was on a roll.

After another successful Sinner hold for 5-3, Dimitrov found himself under intense pressure as he attempted to salvage the set.

He did fend off the first set point but couldn’t stop the third seed pocketing it on the second after 43-minutes of play.

And here was no relief for the 11th seed in the second as Sinner opened with a strong hold and though Dimitrov then held for 1-1, that was basically the end of his run as the Italian took off and within 30-minutes, claimed it without conceding another game.

Speaking after the match Sinner cold barely contain his delight.

He said: “I’m really proud, obviously about the result. I started off struggling a little bit this week. I hadn’t had so much time to adapt on this court, so I knew it was going to be tough. But I got better as the week went on.

“Today’s performance was really good. I’m just proud of how I handled the situation, it was not easy. Yeah, it was a really good two weeks.”

Reflecting on his victory at the third time of asking, Sinner added: “This was my third time in the final and I figured this would be the lucky one. I’m really happy I can hold the big trophy.

“This result is such a huge pleasure to share with my team, my family and all the people watching at home. The atmosphere has been amazing throughout the whole 10 days.

“This is one of most special tournaments for me. It’s good to be back here and I hope to see you all back here again next year.”

Later, speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “It has been a very special week for me. I have faced very difference situations on the court, different opponents. I was full of energy today.

“I’m very happy to now be No. 2 in the world, but it’s just a number… For me, the most important thing is trying to execute my game plan in the best possible way – which I’ve done. I’m very happy.”

Having become the man to beat, he is certainly now also the man to follow!

Jannik Sinner and Grigor Dimitrov and their respective trophies

1. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)



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