Sinner is ATP 500 youngest champion

19-year Jannik Sinner from Italy made history on Sunday when he became the first and only teenager to win an ATP 500 event, beating Mackenzie McDonald in three tight sets to secure the Citi Open title in Washington DC.

I think there is still much work to do, to be honest. A lot of experience to put in, working hard as we are doing now, and trying to play important matches and important moments of a match. Today I think I had a lot of them. I can learn many things [from] today. Jannik Sinner

Sinner, who turns 20 on 16 August, needed almost 3 hours to close out a 7-5 4-6 7-5 win for his 3rd ATP Tour trophy and second this year.

“When you see somebody is the youngest or whatever, I don’t put much weight on that,” Sinner said. “You know, there are a lot of players who have done much, much better than me.

“I just want to improve, working hard.”

This was the 146th ATP 500 tournament since the category was created, with a 20-year-old Alexander Zverev, who lifted the Citi Open trophy in 2017, the youngest winner before Sinner’s victory on Sunday.

Sinner is the first Italian finalist in the tournament’s 52-year history, and he becomes the event’s third-youngest champion, behind 18-year-old Andy Roddick in 2001 and 19-year-old Juan Martin del Potro in 2008.


Mackenzie McDonald fought hard against Jannik Sinner in the Washington final on Sunday

© Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

McDonald, a 26-year-old American playing in his first ATP final, made the 5th-seeded Sinner work hard for his win, although it seemed like the Italian had the upper hand through almost all of the match.

“When you’re up always with the score and then you cannot close it out, it’s not easy,” Sinner said. “I tried to somehow stay calm and work for my chances.”

McDonald fought off 10 set points before losing the first set, and Sinner failed to convert 2 match points while up 5-2 in the third, with the American rallying to make it 5-all in the decider, but ultimately falling short.

The second set was the first that Sinner dropped in this tournament while, after he went up a break early in the third, McDonald battled back.

“I think it’s tough mentally, because I had a lot of chances. I couldn’t use [them], because first he was playing better in the crucial moments,” Sinner said. “But I tried to work for one more chance and tried to break him like this.”

Sinner failed to convert 2 match points while serving at 5-3, as McDonald fought back to level at 5-all before eventually falling short.

Sinner finally won when McDonald’s backhand went into the net, and he celebrated by holding up his racket with one hand and a No 1 sign with the other.

“I dug as deep as I could,” McDonald said during the on-court ceremony. “Obviously, Jannik is a great young player and he pushed me really hard today, and I think I left it all out there.”


Jannik Sinner dropped just 1 set in 5 matches in the final to Mackenzie McDonald

© Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Sinner will move up to a career-high 15th when the rankings are updated on Monday.

“I think there is still much work to do, to be honest,” he said. “A lot of experience to put in, working hard as we are doing now, and trying to play important matches and important moments of a match.

“Today I think I had a lot of them. I can learn many things [from] today.”

Sinner claimed the biggest title of his career with the loss of just 1 set in 5 matches.


Ben McLachlan & Raven Klassen won the doubles final match against Neal Skupski & Michael Venus

© Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

In the doubles final, Raven Klaasen of South Africa & Ben McLachlan of Japan beat Britain’s Neal Skupski & Michael Venus of New Zealand, 7-6(4) 6-4.



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