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Sinner rallies past Fucsovics from two sets down to set Tsitsipas clash

Jannik Sinner eventually overcame Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 on Friday night and will play the winner of the match between Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No 3 seed, and Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the next round

Jannik Sinner during a practice session at the 2023 Australian Open Jannik Sinner at the 2023 Australian Open Image Credit: AI/Reuters/Panoramic
Australian Open •Third round • completed
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Italian Jannik Sinner, the No 15 seed, moved into the last 16 of the Australian Open by producing a stunning comeback to beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 at Melbourne Park on Friday night.

Sinner, ranked No 16, will face Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No 3 seed, in the round of 16 after completing his first comeback from two sets to love down in his career.

Tsitsipas, who defeated Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands on Day 5, owns a 4-1 lifetime edge over the Italian and has taken three straight from Sinner.

Sinner v Tsitsipas Head to Head Jan 19 2023
Sinner v Tsitsipas Head to Head Jan 19 2023

The first two sets were tough

“For sure, the first two sets were very tough for me,” Sinner said on court. “Obviously I had to change something in my game after the two sets, I was feeling the ball quite well also in the beginning, but the final shots I was missing a little bit; also tactically I was not so good.”

Sinner said he adjusted his tactics and pushed the play to Fucsovic’s backhand side, this his friend and frequent practice partner.

“The first two sets I think he was playing very well. Me, tactically, I went to court with one tactic then I had to change a little bit, obviously going a little bit more to his backhand, but for sure, I know him very well.”

Feeling fit as a fiddle

The three hour and 33-minute tussle did not seem to fatigue the Italian whatsoever. He attributes his success in his ninth five-set match (5-4) to the hard yards he put in this off-season.

“Obviously I made a lot of work in the offseason, especially physically, and today obviously I was good physically also in the last set, so thanks to my team.” 

With Australian coach Darren Cahill, the former coach of Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and Simona Halep, now in his corner, Sinner says he has complete trust in his team.

“Obviously he’s a very important part of my team,” he said of 57-year-old Cahill. “But I think the most important thing is that he fits together with the rest of the team, with all the team members, and I’m very happy to have all of them – without them, it’s impossible to play at such a high level. So thank you so much for my team and we work obviously every day harder. So let’s go.”

The 21-year-old Italian won against Kyle Edmund (6-4, 6-0, 6-2) and Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry (6-3, 6-2, 6-2) ahead of his victory.

In the previous rounds, Fucsovics, ranked No 78, beat Argentinian Federico Coria (4-6, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2) and edged out South African Lloyd Harris (6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4).

Melbourne (Grand Slam), other third-round results (Melbourne Park, hard, USD 24.297.942, most recent results first):

  • Tommy Paul vs. Jenson Brooksby
  • Andy Murray vs. Roberto Bautista Agut
  • J.J. Wolf vs. Michael Mmoh
  • Alexei Popyrin vs. Ben Shelton
  • Grigor Dimitrov vs. Novak Djokovic
  • Benjamin Bonzi vs. Alex De Minaur
  • Ugo Humbert vs. Holger Rune
  • Andrey Rublev vs. Daniel Evans
  • Sebastian Korda vs. Daniil Medvedev
  • Hubert Hurkacz vs. Denis Shapovalov
  • Karen Khachanov vs. Frances Tiafoe
  • Cameron Norrie vs. Jiri Lehecka
  • Francisco Cerundolo vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime
  • Mackenzie McDonald vs. Yoshihito Nishioka: friday
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Tallon Griekspoor: friday
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