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Jannik Sinner beats (6/7 6/1 6/1) Carlos Alcaraz in the final of the ATP 250 of Umag in Croatia.

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The Goran Ivanisevic Stadium welcomed a final of young talents on Sunday’s evening: Yannik Sinner, 10th in the world, who’s only 20 years old and the new rising star of tennis, Carlos Alcaraz, who’s 19 years old and reaches career-high ranking of number 4th today.

The two protagonists of tomorrow’s tennis offered a fierce battle during the first set, eventually won by the Spanish. During the first hour of the match, the two players demonstrated: breathtaking points, an insane ball power, aces, shots at the net – and not one single break point. ‘Carlitos’ took the lead early in the tie break with a 5-1 advantage which enabled him to conclude it at 7-5.

As the second set began, the match’s physiognomy completely changed. Carlos Alcaraz gained six break point during the second game, but he couldn’t convert the opportunity – he even rushed a few returns on second balls. After holding up for long minutes, Sinner crushed Alcaraz 6/1 who seemed to have given up the second set.

The deciding set was strangely similar to the second one. After a missed break point by Alcaraz at 1-1, Sinner had all the confidence and easily won the last set 6/1 – with poor battling from the other side of the net.

With this second victory against Alcaraz (6/1 6/4 6/7 6/3 at Wimbledon), Jannik Sinner wins his first trophy of 2022, and his sixth in career. The outcome of the match is well deserved by the Italian who showed more initiative, who made very few unforced errors and who kept a great ball quality. As for Carlos Alcaraz, who might have been exhausted, he couldn’t keep up with the level of intensity that he showed during the first set. The young Spanish cave in during the last two sets, committing lots of unusual unforced errors on the forehand side, and even missing dropshots – one of his favorite assets.

The American swing, played on hard exterior courts, which begins next week might be a challenge for those two players. They haven’t had time to get use to the American summer heat, let alone the surface by choosing to extend their clay season. Yannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz both chose to miss Citi Open and the ATP 250 of Los Cabos to train enough to be performing in Montreal but also to be able to rest a bit, especially for the Spanish who took very few breaks during the season, and even less since the end of Wimbledon.

Marnie Abbou

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