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Sensational Sinner sprints to first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Miami

It’s a maiden Masters 1000 quarter-final for the young Italian – and he managed it in double-quick time with a rock-solid display

Jannik Sinner in Montpellier, 2021 (Panoramic)

Jannik Sinner reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final by beating unseeded surprise package Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-2 at the Miami Open.

The young Italian, seeded 21st, was rock-solid from the very start of the match, which lasted just one hour and nine minutes.

The 19-year-old hit 20 winners compared to the Finn’s 11, with more than half of them coming on his forehand – and he took all four of his break point opportunities.

“Very great”

“I think every match is different,” Sinner said in his on-court interview, and he was quick to acknowledge that he made the most of every chance he had against a player who had gone to three sets in each of his previous three matches.

“First of all, I think he’s a very great player, beating (Alexander) Zverev here (in the second round), he was playing incredible. Knowing that he is maybe a little bit tired, he had three quite long matches, and I just played my tennis.”

Sinner may also have benefited from knowing his opponent’s strengths well – as the third seed, he lost to Ruusuvuori in an ATP Challenger in Canberra in January 2020, 6-3, 6-4, and the pair promptly set up as a doubles team in Rotterdam one month later, losing in the qualifiers to top seeds Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Ruusuvuori will surely not be too disappointed with his week, though. As well as the win over Zverev, he also beat Mikael Ymer 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the round of 32, and Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in the first round. It is the first time he has reached the round of 16 at a Masters 1000 event, and he is the first Finn to reach that stage in Miami in over a decade, with the last man to do it being Jarkko Nieminen in 2007.

Sinner beat France’s Hugo Gaston 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 64, and defeated 14th seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in the round of 32.

In the other round of 16 matches, Roberto Bautista Agut beat John Isner 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7), Alexander Bublik beat Taylor Fritz 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 and Hubert Hurkacz beat 12th seed Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

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