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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday April 30, 2024

Jannik Sinner dropped a set for the first time on Tuesday in Madrid, but the Italian responded with fortitude and marched past Karen Khachanov, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, to reach his first quarterfinal at the Caja Magica.

Tennis Express

It’s another milestone in a season of milestones for the Italian, who won his maiden major title and has climbed to a career-high ranking of No.2 on the season. No Italian had won a major title since 1976, and no man from his country has ever been ranked as high.

Sinner improves to 28-2 on the year, and will face either Casper Ruud or Felix Auger-Aliassime for a spot in the semifinals on Thursday.

The day off will be appreciated, as Sinner has been dealing with a right hip issue that has slowed him down at Madrid. The 22-year-old says he feels fine, but admits that he is not at 100 percent and is playing through pain in some instances.

“If I look back I’ve played a lot of matches and not had much time off, so this can happen,” Sinner said, according to the ATP. “In my mind I know this. If it would have been worse than yesterday, then I would have thought about [whether or not to play] today, but if I have a chance to get through situations early in my career, I want to give it a try.”
Sinner says he hopes that a day off will help the issue resolve a bit on its own.

“For sure I’m not physically at 100 percent today,” he said. “Tomorrow, I have a day off which can help me to get through. I knew that if I won today I would have tomorrow to recover hopefully for the next match, which I have to because it is a tough match. I’m happy to be in the quarters here.”

By winning on Tuesday Sinner became the only player to have reached at least the quarterfinals at all four Masters 1000 events this year. He won the Miami title and played the semifinals at Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo.

The World No.2 improved to 6-2 lifetime at Madrid and will enter the quarterfinals carrying an 8-3 record in last eight matches at the Masters 1000s.