Sixth seed Jannik Sinner of Italy beat second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia 7-6(2), 7-6(2) in the China Open final on Wednesday, October 4. Sinner recorded his first win over Medvedev in their seventh match against each other, as he secured his third title of the year.
There was very little to choose between the two players in the two-hour contest. However, Sinner did enough in the end to secure the title, defeating Carlos Alcaraz and Medvedev in successive matches.
On that note, let us take a look at two things that stood out in the match:
1. Medvedev served well, but his return of serve let him down:
Medvedev had the superior serve of the two players and managed to save five break points in the match, as his serve bailed him out repeatedly. Neither player managed to secure a single break in the match as both sets were decided in the tie-break. However, Medvedev’s return of serve let him down as he could only set up one break point.
The big Russian kept providing the Italian with short balls with his return, which Sinner gleefully dispatched for winners. As a result, Sinner did not have to work too hard to hold his serve. The Italian, to his credit, held his own in the crosscourt backhand exchanges and also went around his backhand to hit a few winners with his inside-in and inside-out forehands.
Sinner also rushed the net quite often to put pressure on Medvedev, but had to be on the receiving end of his passing shots at times. However, Sinner managed to hit a few wonderful volleys, too, to reap the benefits of his tactic.
2. Sinner played better during key moments:
In the end, it boiled down to which player could hold his nerve during key moments and 22-year-old Sinner came out on top in both tie-breaks. His forehand and Medvedev’s innocuous return of serve helped his cause a lot.
Sinner raced to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break in the first set before Medvedev reduced the deficit to 6-2. However, the Italian held his nerve and finished off the set. In the second tie-break, the match seemed evenly poised, with Sinner leading 3-2, but he won the next five points consecutively to close out an emphatic win.
Sinner thus showed exceptional grit and resolve to overcome one of the best hard-court players in the world. The win should do his confidence a world of good.