Teenager Jannik Sinner wins in Washington

By Jürgen Fritz, Mon 02 Aug 2021, Cover picture: ATP Tennis TV-Screenshot

Eight days before his 20th birthday, in Washington, Jannik Sinner wins a D tournament (ATP 500) for the first time in his career. This makes him the first teenager since Juan Martin del Potro in July 2008 to win a men’s tournament of the fourth-highest category.

Hard work, but rewarded after almost three hours of play

In 2:53 h Jannik Sinner defeated the 26-year-old US American Mackenzie McDonald 7-5, 4-6, 7-5. Mackenzie fought off ten set points in the first set, but lost it 5-7 after 67 minutes, then won the second set 6-4. In the deciding set, McDonald then fought off two match points at 2-5 and fought his way back to 5-5, but Sinner kept his cool and won the match 7-5 in the third set after almost three hours of play.

„I think there is still much work to do, to be honest. A lot of experience to put in, working hard as we are doing now, and trying to play important matches and important moments of a match,“ Sinner said after his final victory. „Today I think I had a lot of them. I can learn many things [from] today.“

The first teenager since del Potro in 2008 to win a D tournament on the men’s tour

The last player to succeed in winning a D tournament on the men’s tour as a teenager was Juan Martin del Potro. In July 2008, at the age of 19.8, the Argentine first won the D tournament in Stuttgart, then a week later the one in Kitzbühel. Barely 14 months later, del Potro then won the US Open (A) in September 2009 at the age of 20.9, defeating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals and then Roger Federer in the final.

13 years later, Jannik Sinner became the first teenager to win a D tournament at the age of 19.9. Most tournaments (58 per cent) on the ATP Tour, including the four ITF Grand Slam events, are ATP 250s (E). So winning one of the 13 D tournaments is definitely something special, especially for a 19-year-old. „When you see somebody is the youngest or whatever, I don’t put much weight on that“, Sinner said. „There are a lot of players who have done much, much better than me. It’s not about who is the youngest or whatever. I just want to improve, work hard.“

Third ATP tournament win (in 52 weeks)

For the 19.9-year-old, it is his third tournament win on the ATP men’s tour. In November, the teenager won the E tournament in Sofia (ATP 250), the last tournament he played in 2020, and then also the first in 2021 at the beginning of February in Melbourne. In March, he then reached the final of a C tournament (ATP 1000) for the first time in Miami, but lost to Hubert Hurkacz. Now Sinner, who is already the best U22 player in the world, won a higher-ranked ATP tournament for the first time.

In the last 52 weeks, only Novak Djokovic (5), Alexander Zverev (5), Daniil Medvedev (4 + ATP Cup), Casper Ruud (4) and Andrey Rublev (3 + ATP Cup) can boast more than three ATP tournament victories. This week, the still 19-year-old Italian will compete in the C tournament in Toronto, where he could meet the number 1 seed Daniil Medvedev in his second match (round of 16).

In the JFB 52 Week Tennis World Ranking, Sinner now moves back into the top 15 with his Washington win, rising from 17 to 13.

Final-Highligths form Washington


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