Stefanos Tsitsipas Extends Clay-Court Winning Streak, Overpowers Jannik Sinner to Reach Barcelona Open 2021

Published 04/24/2021, 9:35 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 23, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his quarter final match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Albert Gea


Continuing his unstoppable run on red soil, World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas proved too hot to handle for Jannik Sinner on Saturday as he beat the rising Italian star to reach the final of the Barcelona Open.

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The two players went into the last-four encounter with two wins apiece in two head-to-head clashes. Interestingly, both the wins had come on clay, at the Masters 1000 in Rome, indicating that there was little to separate the two on dirt.

Tsitsipas opened proceedings with a resounding hold to go 1-0 up in the opening set.

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Red-hot Stefanos Tsitsipas overpowers Jannik Sinner, takes first set 6-3

Sinner was under the cosh in his opening service game as the Greek ran up a 15-40 lead. However, the Italian managed to level it at deuce and won two more points to level the score at 1-1.

Sinner won an early point off Tsitsipas’s serve in the following game but the Greek recovered to race to a 40-15 lead closed out the game without much trouble to go 2-1 up.

Much like his glorious Monte-Carlo campaign, the World No.5 hadn’t dropped a single set on the way to reaching the last four in Catalunya and the confidence showed in the early exchanges at the Pista Rafa Nadal.

The Italian, too, was coming off one of his biggest career wins and wasn’t about to be easy meat for Tsitsipas.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 24, 2021, Italy’s Jannik Sinner in action during his semi final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Albert Gea

The Greek won two points off the Sinner serve in the fourth game, but the latter pulled clear to 40-30. The Italian held serve to restore parity at 2-2.

Sinner was up 15-30 and brought up his first breakpoint in the following game. However, Tsitsipas managed to save both breakpoints, leveling up at deuce. With two more points in his kitty, the Greek went up 3-2 in the opening set.

With the score at 40-40 in Sinner’s next service game, the Miami Open runners-up managed to bring up game point and convert it to go level at 3-3.

Both players had pushed each other’s serve at this point, without much success.

Tsitsipas raced to a 40-0 lead in his next service game and converted game point to go 4-3 clear. Seeking to press Sinner’s service again, the Greek ran up a 0-30 lead in the next game.

He brought up three points and converted the last of them to go 5-3 up. Serving for the set, Tsitsipas blitzed to a 40-0 lead and managed to close out the game in his favor to go one set to the good.

Needing to come out with a positive intent, Sinner opened the second set by winning a service game to love. However, the Greek wasn’t about to take his foot off the pedal as he hit back with a resounding service game of his own to make it 1-1.

The following game went the Italian’s way, taking him to a 2-1 lead. Putting the squeeze on the Greek’s serve, Sinner took himself to deuce in the next game.

He brought up a breakpoint, but Tsitsipas pulled it back to deuce. The latter followed up with a game point and converted it to make it 2-2 in the second set.

Stefanos Tsitsipas sweeps second set, storms into Barcelona final

Seeking a decisive break of serve, Tsitsipas raced to a 0-30 lead off the Sinner serve. Staring at three breakpoints, the Italian blinked again to fall back 2-3.

With Tsitsipas seizing the decisive moment, it all but seemed that the last nail had been driven into the Sinner coffin.

Desperate to hit back, Sinner opened up a 15-30 lead off the Greek’s serve. However, the World No.5 recovered to close out the game and extend his lead to 4-2.

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Keeping up the fight, the World No.19 led 30-15 in the next game before Tsitsipas leveled the score. However, Sinner managed to come away with a service hold in the end.

Not one to go down easily, the Italian took two straight points off the Tsitsipas serve to go 0-30 up in the next game. However, the Greek leveled the score and followed up with two more points to take a firmer hold of the match at 5-3.

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Serving to stay in the semi-final, Sinner conceded a point off his serve to trail 0-15 in the next. The deficit soon grew to 15-40 and Tsitsipas lost little time to capitalize and seal a dominant win.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

868 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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