Australian Christopher O’Connell earned the biggest win of his career on Thursday afternoon, stunning second seed Jannik Sinner 7-6(7), 6-4 at the Truist Atlanta Open to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final.
“I got here last Wednesday, so I’ve been acclimatising for the past week or so. I felt pretty comfortable out there,” O’Connell said in his on-court interview. “Maybe I was a little off early on, but as I got into the swing of the match I felt pretty comfortable.”
Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion who made his first ATP Masters 1000 final this year in Miami, earned three set points in the first-set tie-break. But O’Connell showed no fear of the stage or his opponent, hitting critical passing shots under pressure to rally.
“I struggled a little bit with that when I was a bit younger,” O’Connell said of facing higher-ranked opponents. “But I’m 27 now, so I need to start making some inroads. I feel confident at the moment.”
World No. 132 O’Connell, who qualified at this ATP 250, converted the only break point of the match early in the second set and he never looked back. The Aussie triumphed in one hour and 38 minutes to set a clash against five-time champion John Isner or wild card Jack Sock.