Sinner triumphs, beats Djokovic in ATP Finals


Jannik Sinner recorded his first win over top-ranked Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals, delighting a raucous home crowd.
Sinner triumphed 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2) in a match spanning more than three hours on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
It was the 22-year-old Sinner’s first win in their four head-to-head meetings. It also ended Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak that stretched back to his five-set loss to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final.
Sinner sealed the result with a smash at the net to send the Turin arena into a frenzy.
“There doesn’t exist a better place to beat the World No. 1. After Wimbledon I said I felt a bit closer but I didn’t even win a set,” Sinner said on his on-court interview, which was interrupted by the crowd serenading him with “Olé, Olé, Olé Olé, Sin-ner, Sin-ner.”
“Here I managed to play the most important points in the best way. There was a bit of tension when I lost the second set, it was very hard, but together with you (the crowd) we won together.”
The umpire had to tell the fans to be quiet several times during the enthralling encounter as they fervently cheered the Italian player on and also booed Djokovic several times.
The 36-year-old Djokovic, who normally enjoys huge support in Italy, lapped up the boos and even encouraged the fans to up their hostility toward him.
Sinner, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 in Sunday’s opener, is now on the verge of reaching Saturday’s semifinals. He next plays Holger Rune, who has one win after Tsitsipas retired early in their green group match and withdrew from the tournament.
Djokovic, who is bidding to break a tie with Federer and capture a record seventh title at the tour finals, will play first alternate Hubert Hurkacz.
Sinner didn’t make it out of the group stage in his only other appearance at the ATP Finals, as an alternate in 2021.
But the crowd sensed a huge win was on the cards when Sinner won nine straight points to finish the first set — rallying from 40-0 down to break Djokovic’s serve and then holding to love.
Sinner also broke again in the third to lead 4-2 but Djokovic immediately managed to get his only service break in a match that mainly went with serve and saw 35 aces. Sinner is finishing up a year in which he has claimed four titles, including his first Masters 1000 trophy, and moved to a career-high No. 4 — the first Italian that high since Adriano Panatta nearly a half-century ago.