Jannik Sinner Fights Back Against Reigning Australian Open Semi-Finalist Aslan Karatsev at ATP Lyon 2021

Published 05/19/2021, 12:20 PM EDT
Tennis – Great Ocean Road Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 7, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner celebrates winning his final singles match against Italy’s Stefano Travaglia REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Jannik Sinner, the rising youngster from Italy, has been steadily making progress on the ATP tour by registering victories against top players in his short career. The Italian has already defeated the likes of Roberto Bautista Agut, Andrey Rublev, and Karen Khachanov on-tour this year.

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Playing at the Lyon Open, Sinner defeated the in-form Russian Aslan Karatsev in three sets, 0-6,6-3,6-4. The Russian was in complete control of the first set before Sinner found his game, and outclassed Karatsev.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner in action during his second round match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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Jannik Sinner crushes the in-form Aslan Karatsev at Lyon Open

It was an all-round battle by the two players as they pushed hard on the baseline while remaining tactful at the net. At times, Karatsev exposed his vulnerabilities on serve. The Italian, who is developing a phenomenal return game, used his backhand to good effect.

Also, this is the first time Aslan Karatsev lost in the first round of a tournament since 2020. Even though the Russian started off as a dominant player in the first set, he couldn’t carry on with the momentum.

On the other hand, Sinner used his all-round game to confuse the Russian and won several high-quality long rallies. Karatsev’s double-faults during crucial moments in the match proved to be costly.

Even though he won more points on the 1st serve (63%), Sinner attacked the second serve of the Russian to get multiple break-points.

But Karatsev fought till the end and forced Sinner to serve for the match. While the young Italian struggled to close the match as he made two back-t0-back unforced errors, it looked like the third-set would be decided on a tie-breaker.

However, Jannik Sinner bounced back from 0-30 down in the final game of the third set as he hit two aces to level the score. After that, it became easier for Sinner to close the match.

Speaking about his comeback after losing the first set, the young Italian said that he was happy to have played deep into the third set.

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Obviously it has been tough. He’s a great player. Especially this year he’s had some big results so a lot of respect to [Karatsev]. I tried to dig in deep today and in the end I’m very happy that I finished [off] the match today,” Sinner said.

Forcing errors from Karatsev, the Italian won the first round match at Lyon Open and will now meet the Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech in the pre-quarters.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

212 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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