Yannick Sener wins the highest title of his career to date. © APA/getty/Mitchell Layton
Jannik Sinner defined the next stage in his young tennis career. Sesto won the championship Monday night (CEST) in Washington, and thus celebrated the biggest success of his career to date.
09. August 2021
Because of the crisis: At the tournament in the US capital this week, Sener showed what he is made of. In a thrilling final, Buster defeated Mackenzie MacDonald after 2:54 hours of play with 7:5, 4:6 and 7:5. Not only has Sinner smashed his negative streak from his last three defeats in a row, no: at age 19 (he would be 20 in week) in Washington, he was the youngest winner of the ATP 500 Championship (this category has been around since 2009).
Sinner went into the game as the favorite against McDonald – even if the American eliminated famous players like Benoit Paire, Nick Kyrgios or Kei Nishikori on their way to the final. In the end, it turned out to be the expected difficult match. Already in the first round, Sinner and McDonald gave some first-class rallies. They both took the service game from each other twice. Sinner has always been the main player. But his opponent had nerves like steel and fended off many broken and pinned balls.
MacDonald fights like a lion
At 6:5 from Sinner’s point of view, things got interesting again. South Tyrol was 40-0 ahead when MacDonald served. But then the man from California scored three points in a row. But Sinner didn’t let that bother him, either. So South Tyrol finally managed to turn the 11th group ball after 1:07 hours of play.
MacKenzie MacDonald made life difficult for Yannick Sener. © APA/getty/Mitchell Layton
In the second round, they both played their service games up to a score of 3:3. Sinner then wiggled while MacDonald, making a crazy effort, tapped his first two balls in this game. As a result, South Tyrol could no longer serve the Americans. MacDonald won the second set 6:4. For Sinner, this was the first loss in this tournament.
High-profile finale – Sinner stays calm
Now it was a tough situation for Sinner, especially since his opponent fought like a lion and could run almost any ball. Additionally, Sinner is usually used to being a fan favorite on the tour. This was clearly not the case against local champion MacDonald. But a sinner would not be a sinner if he did not keep his calm even with such a constellation. The 19-year-old returned to the decisive third set at his old strength and took the first serve from his opponent, who was 6 years older than him. Then he let his emotions loosen up for a while. The relief was noticeable for Pusterer, especially as he’s missed countless break opportunities in this match so far.
When the score was 3:1, Sinner then failed to hit the field multiple times. Because of this, MacDonald had a total of three break opportunities. However, Sener kept his cool, increased his share of the first serve and still decided the match himself. When the score was 5:2, Sinner had two match points, but pressure is a foreign word to McDonald’s these days. The 26-year-old not only made two tackles and break balls 19 and 20, but he immediately got the breaker replay.
Jannik Sinner has had to endure a lot of setbacks. © APA/getty/Mitchell Layton
However, the momentum is back on the side of the local champion. But Sener briefly shook himself and scored some great points on McDonald’s serve. However, the South Tyrolean was twice unlucky with the edge of the net and thus MacDonald’s 5:5 draw. The 7,500 spectators in Washington were completely excited after this match at the latest, as both players were looking for their luck in attack and did not give up a ball in defence. It was a well-balanced match at a high level that couldn’t be beat in terms of tension. In the end, Sinner turned his match three ball and 21 breakout ball into 7:5 against standing man MacDonald on his serve.
The sinner ascends
Thus Sener won the highest title of his career so far. In his career, he won two championships at the ATP level, namely in Sofia and Melbourne (both were 250 cc). With his victory in Washington, Sinner worked his way up to 15th in the world rankings. South Tyrol made up 9 centers this week. He is now as advanced as never before. By the way: the opponent MacDonald is now listed in the 67th position in the ATP computer. Previously, the American was No. 107 in the world rankings.
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