EPIC: Jannik Sinner Saves a Match Point to Beat Karen Khachanov at Great Ocean Road Open 2020

Published 02/06/2021, 4:26 AM EST
Tennis – Great Ocean Road Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner reacts during his semi final match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Tennis Australia made a terrific move by hosting various tournaments before the start of the Australian Open 2021. These events were pushed before the Grand Slam to help athletes prepare for the main event. A lot of good matches were witnessed in these events; Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov starred in one of them. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Two phenomenal players in Sinner and Khachanov faced each other in the semi-final of the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne. These two players competed fiercely to book a ticket in the final against 29-year-old Italian Stefano Travaglia, and it was 19-year-old Sinner, who won the persistent battle.

Jannik Sinner gets past Karen Khachanov in a thrilling encounter

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The other semi-final of the Great Ocean Road Open didn’t live up to the hype as much as this match. Two quality players in Khachanov and Sinner took on each other and held on until the last point.

Both players showed tremendous dedication on the court, but it was Sinner who had the last laugh with a 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-6(4) victory over the Russian. 

“You know, he’s [Khachanov] a great player, and for me being here with the fans as well. I think everyone missed playing in front of the fans and obviously, I’m very happy,” Sinner said after the win. 

Tennis – Great Ocean Road Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner with Russia’s Karen Khachanov after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Kelly Defina

It was a matchup between the #2 and the #4 seed, Khachanov failed to outplay the lower-ranked player. Sinner, the ‘Next Gen’ star, won the first set through a tie-break to strike early blood in the match. 

Sinner wasn’t too clinical in the opening set as he just converted one of the seven breakpoints that he set up. On the other hand, the Russian found his inner motivation after going down early in the match and came back to win the second set in convincing fashion. 

This opened up a nervy deciding set where either athlete needed to be on top of their defensive game. Sinner smashed four aces in the decider whereas Kachanov made none. Furthermore, Jannik Sinner saved six out of seven breakpoints in the third set that Kachanov exposed from his service. 

Sinner on his chances in the finals and Australian Open preparations

Sinner displayed nerves of steel in the deciding set and saved a match point in the tie-break to seal the win. It was an impressive game for the 19-year-old who battled 3 hours and seven minutes to book his ticket to the final. 

Sinner’s victory also marked a special moment. His final against Stefano Travaglia will be an all Italian affair, and the first ATP Finals between two Italians since 1988! Hence, the match holds some major history to it, and here’s how Sinner reacted to it: 

“First of all I got to sleep and try to get some rest and try to play my best tennis tomorrow,” the 19-year-old expressed! 

Tennis – Great Ocean Road Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner in action during his semi final match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Furthermore, this performance would be the right confidence-booster for Jannik Sinner ahead of the Australian Open 2021. “We will find out that. Normally you prepare to play a little bit longer,” Sinner said about the Grand Slam. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“You know matches are a little bit different, you have a little bit more pressure as well. So we’ll see how it goes next week and. As I said, for me, I’m young and trying to get as much rest. And let’s see what’s coming up,” he added. 

Jannik Sinner displayed his resilient game against Khachanov and earned the reward for it. If the 19-year-old has the durability to pose the same challenge at the Australian Open 2021, he can indeed upset a few stars and excite a lot of fans! 

DIVE DEEPER

Jannik Sinner Offers a Sneak Peek into Rafael Nadal’s Practice Strategy Ahead of Australian Open 2021

3 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arjun Athreya

1723 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT