Jannik Sinner is set to become the youngest ATP Tour winner since Kei Nishikori in 2008 if hecan defeat Vasek Pospisil in the final of the Sofia Open.
Today I felt quite well on court and it is good for me playing my first final this year. I am looking forward to tomorrow Jannik Sinner
Sinner became the youngest Italian in the open era to reach a tour final when he defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, at 5 the last seed remaining in the draw, 6-3 7-5.
The 19-year-old, ranked 44 and the youngest player in the top 100, eased himself into the match and only started to take control in the sixth game following a couple of Mannarino errors from the 32-year-old to lead 4-2, a lead he was to hold to take the first set.
It was a similar scenario in the second though Mannarino had opportunities for an early break but his young opponent held firm with some strong serving and made his own breakthrough at 5-5 when he broke to set up a great chance to serve out for his first career title match, which he duly achieved when the Frenchman missed a volley on match point in the 87-minute semi-final.
“It is nice to be in the final, playing one more match which, for me, is the most important,” Sinner told the media following his 18th win of the season.
“Today I felt quite well on court and it is good for me playing my first final this year. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Meanwhile Pospisil followed him on court and looked set to fall at the hands of Richard Gasquet who claimed a highly contested opening set on a tie-break.
But the Canadian regrouped and turned the tables on the Frenchman to win 11 consecutive games and take the remaining place in the final 7-6(6) 6-2 6-0.
“I felt like I had some chances in the first set,” Pospisil said after his victory. “(I) was holding serve pretty comfortably so I was disappointed to lose that set, I felt like I was lacking that energy, so I raised the intensity in the second set, I tried to pump myself up.
“As soon as I got the break his intensity dropped and I stayed relatively consistent, aggressive and I am happy with the performance.”