Sinner stops Alcaraz again! Italian claims Umag title with brilliant comeback

Jannik Sinner won the trophy on Sunday evening against Carlos Alcaraz.

Sinner Umag 2022 Jannik Sinner wins the Umag title over Carlos Alcaraz in 2022 | Panoramic

Italian Jannik Sinner, the second seed, won the Croatia Open trophy by beating Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, the top seed, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1 at the ITC Stella Maris in Umag on Sunday evening.

After edging the 19-year-old Spaniard for the second time in less than a month, Sinner improves to 2-1 lifetime against Alcaraz, and 6-1 overall in ATP finals.

The 20-year-old Italian claims his first title of 2022, his sixth overall — and first on clay.

“I come from a tough year until now,” Sinner said. “We had some unfortunate moments, but we worked every time very hard to play better, to be a better player, a better person, so I’m very happy to be finally lifting a trophy this year, but I know that I have a lot of things to improve… it’s all about the process.” 

Sinner dropped a nip-and-tuck opening set but quickly managed to turn the match on its ear in the second set.

The second seed saved six break points in the pivotal second game of the second set, and from there he only dropped one more game in the contest. Sinner saved all nine break points he faced across the two hour and 25-minute contest, while breaking Alcaraz five times from nine opportunities.

“That was a crucial point, I knew I had to stay there,” said Sinner of the stand he made in the second set. “He made some unforced errors, so I’m very happy that I won this game, and then after I returned well, and then I raised my level a bit – I think I found a solution.” 

Alcaraz – I need to figure out how to beat you

The lost left Alcaraz disappointed in himself. Before congratulating his rival and friend in the post-match trophy ceremony, he hinted that he is not going to sleep well after Sunday’s loss.

“Jannik, second time you beat me this year, I’m going to figure out how to beat you this year,” Alcaraz said, before adding: “Of course, amazing run this week, amazing level you have played, great team, great workers, nice person, so I’m going to congratulate you for everything and wish you all the best of luck for this year.”

Alcaraz drops to 42-7 on the season. Despite the loss he will rise to a career-high ranking of No 4 in the world on Monday.

Sinner improves to 35-9, and will remain at No 10.

Sinner, ranked No 10, defeated Spaniard Jaume Munar (6-4, 6-4), Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena (6-4, 7-6 (5)) and qualifier Franco Agamenone (6-1, 6-3) ahead of his victory.

In the previous rounds of the Umag, Alcaraz, ranked No 5, beat Slovak lucky loser Norbert Gombos (6-2, 6-3), Argentinian Facundo Bagnis (6-0, 6-4) and Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri (7-5, 4-6, 6-3).

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