Sinner sweeps past Dimitrov for third title of 2024 in Miami

Jannik Sinner powered past Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-1 to win the Miami Open on Sunday

Jannik Sinner, Miami 2024 Jannik Sinner, Miami | © Julien Nouet / Tennis Majors
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Jannik Sinner won his second Masters 1000 title in Miami on Sunday, defeating No 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-1 at the Miami Open.

With his title in Miami, Sinner improves to 22-1 in 2024, having also won the Australian Open and Rotterdam Open this year. The victory also sees Sinner reach a career-high ranking of No 2 in the world on Monday, with the Italian clearly the best player on the ATP Tour so far this year.

Heading into the Miami Open final, Dimitrov had defeated three top 10 players in a row with wins over Hubert Hurkacz, Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz. However, Sinner was unperturbed, swatting the Bulgarian away with relative ease to win his third title of the year.

“I’m really proud, obviously about the result,” shared Sinner on court after the match. “I started off struggling a little bit this week. I hadn’t had so much time to adapt on this court, so I knew it was going to be tough. But I got better as the week went on and on, today’s performance was really good. I’m just proud of how I handled the situation, it was not easy. Yeah, it was a really good two weeks.”

Nervy start for Sinner, before business as usual

In what was just their fourth meeting, Sinner began the nervier of the two. The Italian’s depth was not troubling Dimitrov the same way it did Medvedev in his semi-final romp two days ago, and it was Dimitrov who had the first opportunity to break. 

A successful defence of break point in the fourth game saw Sinner snap out of his uncharacteristically jittery start, however. He went on to create two break point opportunities the very next game, the second of which he capitalised on, moving ahead 3-2 in the first set. This soon became 4-2 as Sinner consolidated the break. 

Sinner nearly went on to record a second consecutive break with two break points on Dimitrov’s next service game, but the Bulgarian was able to repel for 4-3. It mattered little, as Sinner broke at 5-3 to claim the set and put one hand on the trophy 42 minutes into the Miami Open final.

While the 6-3 score line made the opening set seem reasonably one-sided, it was not without its opportunities for Dimitrov. With Sinner serving at just 54 percent, and winning only 36 percent of his second serve points, Dimitrov had some hope of turning this match around still.

That hope was quickly extinguished in the second set, as Sinner upped his level even further. Not only did the Italian tighten up his second serve and win 100 percent of points on it across his opening three service games, but he grabbed another break of Dimitrov’s serve in the fourth game.

Ahead 3-1 and a break, Sinner needed no further invitation, racing to the finish line and winning the match 6-3, 6-1 in one hour, 13 minutes.

The magnitude of Sinner’s win

The 22-year-old accredits “staying in the present moment” as what has enabled him to achieve such success this season so far.

“This is a special moment, you never know if this is the last time or not,” said Sinner after his win on Sunday. “You have to enjoy this for one day.”

He becomes just the fourth player under 23 years of age to win three ATP titles in the first three months of the year, with Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Murray also achieving the feat. In terms of Italian tennis, however, he stands alone, with none of his countrymen ever having such a title-filled start to a season. 

The victory also sees Sinner improve his impeccable Masters 1000 record, with just two players in history taking less matches to reach 60 ATP Masters 1000 wins. With a win percentage of 71.4 percent, he’s already part of an elite group of just eight players who have won more than 70 percent of their ATP Masters 1000 matches.

Next up, Sinner will turn his attention to clay, where he has a brilliant opportunity to make a move on the world No 1 spot. The 22-year-old did not win a single title on the European clay in 2023, with his best result being a semi-final appearance in Monte-Carlo.

“Now, a new chapter is coming, clay court is coming, completely different,” Sinner said. “So let’s see how I will play from now on. For sure, the hard court season from now has been really good.” 

With few points to defend, if he carries on his current form, we could soon see a shift at the top of the men’s rankings. 

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