Italy suffered a disappointing defeat on Sunday against Australia at the ATP Cup, but Jannik Sinner has helped his team bounce back on Tuesday.
The World No. 10 defeated Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6(3) to give his country a 1-0 lead against France. The Italian rallied from a break down in the second set to triumph after one hour and 37 minutes.
“It’s never easy playing against him, it was the third time already. The first set I was under control. In the second set I dropped a little bit of intensity. He is serving very well, so I was in trouble,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “But fortunately I found a way.”
Sinner now leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head 2-1. Rinderknech defeated his younger opponent last year on clay in Lyon, and appeared primed to push for another upset in Sydney when he broke in the second set.
The Frenchman was playing aggressively and using his big serve to prevent Sinner from dominating from the baseline. But one slip allowed the Italian back on serve, which proved critical. Matteo Berrettini will now try to clinch the tie for Italy against Ugo Humbert, who upset World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.
“Tennis is all about trying to find solutions and today I found it, fortunately,” Sinner said. “Obviously we want to win, so we’ll try to stay focussed [as a team].”