Italian #NextGenATP star Jannik Sinner wasted little time in his first-round match at the bett1HULKS Championship on Tuesday, dismissing Australian James Duckworth 6-1, 6-2 in 61 minutes.
“Not many unforced errors, I served quite well,” Sinner said on court after his win. “I’m very happy about my first match.”
One year ago this week, Sinner was still outside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. After reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros, the 19-year-old is up to a career-high World No. 46.[WATCH LIVE 2]
The only moment of difficulty Sinner faced came in the second set at 2-2, a service game in which he needed nearly 12 minutes to hold. After getting through that game unscathed, Sinner broke in the next game when Duckworth missed a forehand volley wide. The Italian broke the Aussie’s serve five times in the match.
“I felt great on court, moving quite well,” Sinner said. “Obviously the second set there was one game when I was serving in which he pushed a little bit more the ball, so I was a little bit rushed. But I think it was a solid performance.”
Sinner will next play aggressive Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who rallied from a break down in the deciding set to eliminate American Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes.
Top seed Alexander Zverev will face John Millman in the second round after the Aussie defeated Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes. Last week in Cologne, Verdasco beat former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the first round before falling against Zverev in his next match.
Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina recorded his 10th match win of the year on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over qualifier Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 72 minutes. Last week, the 21-year-old reached the second ATP Tour semi-final of his career at the bett1HULKS Indoors (l. to Zverev), which was also held in Cologne. Davidovich Fokina now plays American Steve Johnson in the second round.
Lucky loser Oscar Otte advanced at his home event with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph against Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak.