Jannik Sinner hadn’t be able to test himself until now in Rotterdam following a bizarre walkover in round two.
An hour or so before his first round match against Radu Albot the Moldovian withdrew injured which would usually mean a lucky loser from qualifying would take his place. Quite incredibly at an ATP 500 event no-one had signed up to be a lucky loser which is unheard of and the opportunity to play a main draw match and pick up $15,000 wasn’t taken.
Even without that first round match to dust off any potential cobwebs the 18 year old was absolutely incredible, as was David Goffin which just amplifies how good the Italian played.
I’d have to say it was probably the best contest I have watched this year. The two brought the very best out of each other. David Goffin is one of the tours most consistent players and over the last 9 months has found some great consistency in his game resulting in a hike up the rankings.
Jannik Sinner is a name that we knew of but didn’t maybe expect to see what we have from him so early in his career. He is coached by Riccardo Piatti at his academy and the Italians took Milan by storm.
He received a wildcard for the NextGen and went and won the thing. Having someone like Piatti in his corner for me is a smart decision. He keeps his feet on the ground and expectations in line. Following the Milan win there was talk of Davis Cup Finals and an ATP Cup appearance but instead after Milan he took himself back to challenger tennis and then rested.
There was no rest against Goffin in Rotterdam.
The Belgian got an immediate break of serve which he then went onto surrender a few minutes later in the set. Jannik was moving around the court like the junior ski champion he was.
He ended up winning the first set on a tie-break 9-7 saving set points but was super impressive. There wasn’t an aspect of his game I just didn’t like. I’m a sucker for a two handed backhand, it is one of the most brutal and beautiful shots in the game but the way he moved and struck his forehand was fantastic.
He just turned up to it and generated power out of no where. It takes something to push David Goffin around the court and he did it perfectly!
The second set was a tighter affair. Both squandered an early break but with Sinner serving behind you wouldn’t be surprised to see some nerves but he sailed through his service games untroubled.
At 5-5 in the second set things did get slightly interesting on Goffin’s serve as the Italian fought to deuce. The problems persistent for the fourth seed who threw up a double fault down break point leaving Jannik to serve for the match.
As expected the Italian had no problems serving out the biggest win of his career to date advancing to his first ATP 500 quarter final and recording his first top 10 win!