The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships were upset again when teenage Jannik Sinner ousted 2018 winner Roberto Bautista Agut 6: 4, 3: 6, 7: 5.
The 19-year-old Sinner shot 16 aces past Agut compared to the Spaniard’s five aces in this over two-hour bout, and secured his spot in the final eight.
The opening set went to Sinner when he took the lead 5: 4. Bautista Agut dug in deep in the second set to end the match by taking a 5-3 lead in the second set before leading the set.
Both players exchanged a number of backhands, but Sinner gained the upper hand by breaking and leading 4-2 in the decisive set. The Spaniard retained his fighting spirit to bring the set to 4-4, but a double fault at 6-5 gave Sinner a match point, which he gratefully accepted by delivering a nice forehand across the pitch to seal it.
Sinner’s strength was shown to survive a player who had already reached two finals this year, in Montpellier and last week in Doha.
“Jannick Sinner is arguably the most exciting teenage player in the world and we really enjoyed his wonderful performance against our 2018 champion,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “It will indeed be interesting to see if he can continue his success here as the week progresses.”
It was a smooth sailing for Andrey Rublev when he passed Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-1 in a match that lasted just over an hour. The 23-year-old took full advantage of Fritz’s tired second serve to ensure the rallies were kept short in both sets.
The Russian has now achieved 22 consecutive ATP 500 victories and is in second place after Roger Federer’s record of 28 consecutive ATP 500 victories.
Kei Nishikori prevailed 6: 4, 6: 4 against Aljaz Bedene and asserted himself as one of the main title contenders in Dubai. The Japanese player lost just one point on serve, zero on first serve and shot 31 winners past Bedene to move into the quarters.
Dennis Shapovalov prevailed 6: 4, 6: 3 against Hubert Hurkacz earlier that day. The Russian weathered the scorching heat and finished the game in just over an hour. He meets the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
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