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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday November 14, 2020

 
Jannik Sinner

19-year-old Jannik Sinner captured the Sofia title to become the youngest ATP titlist in over a decade.

Photo Source: Sofia Open

Jannik Sinner claimed victory at the Sofia Open to become the youngest ATP title winner in over 12 years.

The 19-year-old Italian, ranked 44, defeated Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3) to become the youngest champion on the ATP Tour since Kei Nishikori in 2008.

Tennis Express

“I think we are doing a great job, never stopping. It’s a long way so I’m very happy that I’m here with you guys today,” Sinner told his team after the final. “I’m looking forward already for next year.”

It was a tense battle from start to finish, and one that saw Sinner struggle with his form in the middle set. But the Italian pulled himself together in a final set that commenced with him rallying from 15-40 down in the first game to secure a service hold.

Neither player would face a break point the rest of the way, but it would be Sinner’s perfection in the third-set tiebreaker that sealed his title.

Sinner becomes the sixth first-time ATP titlist in 2020, and the fifth player aged 21 or younger that has claimed a maiden trophy this season:


ATP First-Time Titles in 2020

Ugo Humbert, 21, Auckland
Casper Ruud, 21, Buenos Aires
Thiago Seyboth Wild, 19, Santiago
Miomir Kecmanovic, 21, Kitzbuhel
John Millman, 31, Nur-Sultan
Jannik Sinner, 19, Sofia

Sinner scored a critical break in the third game of the opening set against Pospisil as he used his forehand to force errors from the 30-year-old Canadian to open up a fourth break chance (three came in the first game). He converted by driving a forehand down the line that Pospisil couldn’t bring back.

Sinner saved a break point in the next game and cruised to close the opener in 44 minutes.

The Italian lost his way in the middle set as he surrendered a pair of breaks and let Pospisil take over.

But Sinner soon settled in as the decider commenced. He dropped just 10 points on serve in set three and was flawless in the breaker, winning all his points on serve and notching the critical mini-break to take a 4-2 lead at the changeover.

The 19-year-old completes a remarkable two seasons that began with him well outside of the Top 500 in 2019. He finishes his 2020 season with a 19-11 record and will make his Top 40 debut on Monday.

Pospisil finishes 17-9 on the year. He dropped to 0-3 lifetime in ATP finals, with the last two coming indoors in 2020, at Montpellier and Sofia.

 

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