Jannik Sinner claimed the second ATP title of the season and third overall on Sunday in Washington after prevailing over Mackenzie McDonald 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 52 minutes. Jannik came to the Citi Open with four straight losses and found his A-game to beat five rivals and lift his first ATP 500 crown, becoming the youngest champion of this series established in 2017! The Italian had a 5-2 advantage in sets one and three before McDonald bounced back to make them more exciting and prolong the action to almost three hours. Jannik won only four points more than Mackenzie, losing serve four times and converting five out of 21 break opportunities to cross the finish line first and earn enough points to crack the top-15 before the 20th birthday. The Italian had a similar number of winners and unforced errors. At the same time, the American counted to almost 50 unforced mistakes, going for his strokes and just falling short in his first ATP final.
At the beginning of the clash, Sinner produced two comfortable holds and broke with a smash winner that sent him 3-1 ahead. Mackenzie fired a forehand down the line winner in the next one to seize the fourth break opportunity and pull the break back in front of the home crowd.
Jannik Sinner became the youngest ATP 500 champion since 2009.
Staying calm, Jannik broke at love in game six to regain the lead and served for the set at 5-3. Ready to give his best, the American broke back with a volley winner and fended off no less than six set points on his serve in game ten to lock the result at 5-5. Jannik held at love in game 11 and created more set points in the next one. McDonald repelled an additional four (ten in total) before Sinner converted the 11th to take the opener 7-5 after 76 minutes.
Mackenzie saved two break chances in the second set’s sixth game and played well in the remaining ones to keep the pressure on the other side. Jannik netted a backhand at 3-3 to get broken, and Mackenzie closed the set with a hold at 15 in game ten to force a decider. The American squandered a game point at 0-1 in the final set and suffered a break when his volley landed in the net. The Italian stayed composed and saved three break chances in the fifth game, producing bold hitting and bringing the game home with a backhand down the line winner. McDonald saved two match points on serve in game eight and broke at 15 a few minutes later to extend his chances. Serving to stay in the match at 5-6, the American wasted a game point and netted a backhand on Sinner’s match point to hand the title to the Italian.