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By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Saturday, June 22, 2024


World No. 1 Jannik Sinner reached his first grass court final in Halle where he’ll face Hubert Hurkacz.

Photo Credit: Claus Bergmann/Getty

World No. 1 Jannik Sinner earned another milestone in his young career as he reached his first grass court final at the ATP 500 Terra Wortmann Open in Halle, Germany.

Sinner, who needed three consecutive three-set wins earlier in the week to reach the semifinals, dispatched China’s Zhang Zhizhen 6-4, 7-6(3).

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He’ll face off against 2022 Halle champion Hubert Hurkacz for the title on Sunday.

“It means a lot. I had four very tough matches to go to the final, Sinner said after his match. “It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday and that's exactly what I needed today.

"I'm happy and let's see what's coming tomorrow." The match was razor close from start to finish.

The 22-year-old Sinner earned his lone break point of the contest last in the opening set. Later in the second set, Zhang held a set point at 5-6. Yet Sinner saved that break point against him with a terrific forehand winner. Eventually the set entered a tiebreak where Sinner took early control and soon went on to win in straight sets.

“In important moments (I was) trying to serve well,” Sinner said. “He returned actually really well in some moments so I had to be very careful. I had to save a set point in the second set. If not I had to go again in three sets. But this is a grass court, anything can happen.”

Earlier in the day, Hurkacz got through a tough battle over World No. 4 Alexander Zverev in their semifinal 7-6(2), 6-4.

The 27-year-old Pole enjoyed a great serving day as fired off 17 aces and saved all four break points to earn his fifth Top 10 grass-court win.

“I am really confident on my serve. I am serving really good,” Hurkacz said. “There were some moments but I managed to believe in my game and hit some good serves and good shots, so I stayed pretty calm."

Sinner and Hurkacz are tied at 2-all in their overall head to head. The Halle final will be their first ever meeting on a grass court.

Hurkacz and Sinner are good friends and sometime practice partners who joined forces to reach the Halle doubles quarterfinals earlier this week.

Sunday could be a double celebration for Sinner: his girlfriend, WTA star Anna Kalinskaya, will play for the Berlin title a week after Alex de Minaur and his long-time partner Katie Boulter each captured grass-court championships.

"I’m just trying to be a little bit as good as him. He’s had an amazing year," Kalinskaya said of her boyfriend Sinner. "Today was difficult because usually I watch him and today we are like okay let’s see if we can watch each other tomorrow online.

"Congratulations to him and I’m gonna text him now. I’m so happy."

Photo Credit: Claus Bergmann/Getty


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