Midnight Strikes, Sinner Survives Monfils In Toronto

  • Posted: Aug 12, 2023

Midnight Strikes, Sinner Survives Monfils In Toronto

Italian will next meet 12th seed Paul

Jannik Sinner moved one step closer to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title Friday when he defeated Gael Monfils in the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers quarter-finals.

The 21-year-old survived a heavy-hitting contest to oust the Frenchman 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 after two hours and 22 minutes of exciting baseline rallies. Monfils and Sinner thrilled the crowd to 32 points consisting of nine shots or more, with the Italian firing 20 winners to advance to his fifth Masters 1000 semi-final.

“It was very tough,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “In the second set, I made a couple unforced errors but he raised his level. In the third set, I just tried to stick to my game plan, trying to play a little more free, which I’ve done so I’m very happy about the performance.”

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The Italian, who let slip an early break lead in the second set, overcame Monfils’ 19 aces and won 61 per cent of points behind the 36-year-old’s second serve to earn victory at 12:13 a.m. Sinner will next meet 12th seed Tommy Paul, who upset World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz to kick off the evening session.

A deep run in Toronto has lifted Sinner to fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. He is trying to qualify directly into the Nitto ATP Finals field for the first time, having replaced countryman Matteo Berrettini as an alternate mid-tournament in 2021.

A two-time finalist at Masters 1000 level, Sinner is aiming for his eighth tour-level title this week. He advanced to the last eight after defeating countryman Matteo Berrettini in his opening match, followed by Andy Murray giving Sinner a walkover Thursday due to an abdominal injury.

The World No. 8 improved to 4-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Monfils, who was playing in his first tour-level quarter-final since last year’s Australian Open.

Monfils earned wins this week against Christopher Eubanks, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Aleksandar Vukic despite playing in just his eighth tour-level event of the year due to injury.

Did You Know?
A first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion is guaranteed in Toronto, where Paul, Sinner, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Alex de Minaur are the four remaining.

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