On Tuesday in Turin, a partisan ATP Finals crowd enthusiastically applauded Jannik Sinner for a magnificent 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2) victory, ending Novak Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak.
The earlier Green Group match was a non-event due to the injury-related retirement of Stefanos Tsitsipas against Holger Rune. However, evening attendees were treated to a match of extraordinary calibre.
After an engrossing three-hour battle in which neither player retreated, world No. 4 Sinner capitalized on his opportunity. He eventually overcame Djokovic’s resistance in the deciding set tie-break.
Sinner, who was fourteen years younger than Djokovic, defeated the 24-time Grand Slam champion with a smash, inciting deafening applause from the sold-out audience. He leads the category, but a semi-final berth is not certain before Thursday’s last round-robin encounter against Rune.
Uncertain Path to Semi-Finals
Back injury-related, Tsitsipas only played three games of his second match against Rune before leaving the match and event.
Tsitsipas’ Untimely Exit
There were concerns regarding the Greek player’s fitness before the tournament in Turin. However, he exhibited no signs of excessive discomfort during the inaugural match on Sunday against Sinner. However, Tsitsipas hardly moved in the third match against Rune and cautiously retired to his bench with a 2-1 deficit.
He was helped to his feet and clasped hands with Rune before leaving the court to the crowd’s jeers and whistles.
According to Tsitsipas, he has been afflicted with a back issue. Hubert Hurkacz is scheduled to start in his stead for the remaining round-robin matches.
He extended his sincerest apologies to the audience and all the supporters who attended the match today. “I am beyond devastated that I was unable to complete the match. It is also unfortunate that the position is not given to someone else who can at least attempt to utilise it.”