California [US], March 15 (ANI): Jannik Sinner broke new ground at the Indian Wells Open on Tuesday, progressing to the quarter-finals for the first time. The Italian won a big-hitting clash with Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4, though the match was much closer than the score suggested.
Sinner will face defending champion Taylor Fritz in a quarterfinal clash.
Sinner, who is currently 15-3 thus far this season, has advanced to the quarterfinals or better in four of his six 2023 competitions, including his championship defence in Montpellier. He is vying for his eighth ATP Tour trophy and his first at the ATP Masters 1000 level with a flawless six-for-six record in sets this tournament. Next up is a Thursday battle with Taylor Fritz, the reigning champion.
While both players' baseline games on Stadium 3 were strong and aggressive, Sinner's quickness and defence were the deciding factors in the one-hour, forty-minute victory. Djokovic saved eight of nine break points on serve to stun Wawrinka in a match that featured a lot of deuce games and a total of 23 break chances, including all five in the first set and two from 15/40 at 4-3 in the second.
Sinner won four straight games in set two to reclaim control of the match, converting on his seventh break chance of a marathon 2-2 game to move decisively ahead. Sinner has reached the quarter-finals or better in four of his six 2023 events, including his title run in Montpellier.
"The scoreline is wrong today. I felt like we both were playing very well, long rallies, and he was getting every time very close. I got lucky a little bit there at 4-3 [in the second set] when I was serving, he [barely] missed the return. Things can change so quickly. I'm very happy to be in the next round but obviously it was a very, very tough match today," ATP.com quoted Sinner as saying.
"Every match is different. The match before I struggled a little bit with the backhand. Today was completely different. I had a little bit of a higher ball so I could go really through the ball, so I'm very happy about that," he said.
"I feel I can improve a couple of things. Today I was not serving so well... Tomorrow I have a day off so I have a couple of practice sessions and hopefully I'm going to be ready for after tomorrow," Sinner added.
Meanwhile, the American Taylor Fritz hit a reverse serve -- one with the spin of a lefty's slice out wide in the Ad court -- en route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Marton Fucsovics for a place in the Indian Wells quarter-finals. (ANI)