Sinner Survives Scare, Battles Past Coric

Jannik Sinner battled into the second round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Monday, but his victory was not without a scare.

Sinner clawed past Croatian Borna Coric 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 after two hours and 28 minutes in a clash between former protected Riccardo Piatti. The ninth seed will next face Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori or German lucky loser Oscar Otte.

“It was a tough match because first time on clay after quite a while, it’s never easy,” Sinner said. “So I’m very happy about my performance, even if it was not my best. I think at the end of the match I raised my level, which for me was important.”

In the second set, it seemed unclear if Sinner would be able to complete the match. The Italian at times bent over and grimaced due to apparent pain in his midsection, for which he took a medical timeout late in the second set.

But despite the pain and the efforts of Coric, who was playing just his fourth match since Rotterdam last March, Sinner powered his way to victory. The 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion saved a break point in the first game of the decider with a forehand winner and never looked back.

Sinner played aggressively on the clay, putting pressure on Coric that the Croatian was unable to consistently overcome. That was especially key early in the third set, when he regained the momentum. The five-time ATP Tour titlist spent 25 per cent of the third set playing offense compared to just 16 per cent for Coric, as revealed by Tennis Data Innovation’s new analysis tool, Balance Of Power ( learn more ).

Third-Set Balance of Power: Coric vs. Sinner

In the second set, Coric led that metric 18 per cent to 16 per cent, so the big turnaround helped Sinner pave his path to victory.

The 20-year-old saved seven of the nine break points he faced and won 42 per cent of his first-serve return points. This is Sinner’s second appearance in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

“I know Borna quite a lot already, so I wish him all the best. It’s nice to see him back on Tour,” Sinner said. “I feel back in shape and ready to compete.”

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