World No. 24 Jannik Sinner acknowledged it wasn’t easy playing rising American star Sebastian Korda at the Citi Open in Washington.
Sinner, seeded at No. 5, edged No. 12 seed Korda in two tight sets 7-6 (3) 7-6 (3) to reach the Washington quarterfinal.
Sinner and Korda were playing against each other for the first time in their careers.
“Obviously it was a tough match, because we never practised together. We never played [a singles] match, so it was kind of new for both of us,” Sinner said, per the ATP website. “[We have a] very similar game style, so… [I was] trying to stick to my game plan, trying to serve well in the important moments, trying to have a good balance on court.”
Sinner earned a hard-fought win
Sinner failed to convert any of his three break points in the fifth game but also saved a break point in the eighth game.
Sinner earned the first break of the match in the ninth game but failed to serve out for the opener in the 10th game.
As no more breaks were seen, the first set had to be resolved in a tie-break.
Korda led 3-2 in the tie-break before Sinner won five consecutive points to win a tight opener.
After losing the first set, Korda responded well as he broke Sinner twice to take a comfortable 5-2 lead.
However, Sinner refused to quit and got both breaks back to force a tie-break.
Korda won the opening point of the tie-break but then lost the following six points as Sinner took a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Korda saved two match points but couldn’t save the third as Sinner booked a straight-set win.
“Everyone thinks it’s easy, but it’s not that easy to close it out,” Sinner said. “There is a little bit of pressure. When I made the break, for me it was important to [make] him serve out [at] 5-4.”