Tennis: Sinner edges out Medvedev to win China Open

AFP , Wednesday 4 Oct 2023

Jannik Sinner beat Daniil Medvedev to win the China Open on Wednesday, edging out the world number three in a largely deadlocked men's final that came down to a pair of high-stakes tie-breaks in Beijing.

Italy s Jannik Sinner (2L) holds the winning trophy after defeating Russia s Daniil Medvedev at thei
Italy s Jannik Sinner (2L) holds the winning trophy after defeating Russia s Daniil Medvedev at their men s singles final match during the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 4, 2023. AFP


The Italian triumphed 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) to take the first such tournament since 2019 after Beijing finally ditched tight pandemic-era health restrictions.

Neither man was able to break the other's serve in a close-fought match but Sinner came close in the opening set when he walloped a presentable overhead volley long on break point and allowed the Russian to hold from deuce.

But it was a different story in the tie-break, with the world number seven racing into a 5-0 lead and sealing the deal when Medvedev struck a forehand into the net.

A similar stalemate ensued in set two with the first dozen games going with serve before Sinner again showed his composure in the tie-break.

He took the lead with a deft drop shot and never looked back, whipping a stunning cross-court passing shot for match point and battering a Medvedev serve back across him to seize victory in front of a raucous crowd.

World number two and tournament favourite Carlos Alcaraz was eliminated by Sinner in their semi-final on Wednesday.

The top-ranked men's player, Novak Djokovic, is not playing in China this year.

Swiatek into quarter-finals

Earlier, world number two Iga Swiatek swatted aside compatriot Magda Linette to surge into the China Open quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Swiatek raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set and snuffed out any hope of an unlikely comeback when she forced her fellow Pole to fire a forehand long.

The four-time Grand Slam champion then presided over a second-set masterclass, blitzing an exhausted Linette with an unrelenting salvo of mighty groundstrokes to wrap up the match in just over an hour.

Swiatek faces Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina or the ninth seed Caroline Garcia of France next.

World number four Jessica Pegula crashed out with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat to Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko.

Ostapenko faces Liudmila Samsonova in the last eight after the Russian defeated Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5 in a match that took nearly three hours.

Murray misery deepens in Shanghai

Meanwhile, the first round of the ATP Shanghai Masters kicked off in the financial hub Wednesday.

A delighted home crowd watched on as Zhang Zhizhen and Bu Yunchaokete both made it through to the second round -- the first time two Chinese men have done so.

"Before the match, I was super nervous, like, super, super," Zhang told a press conference afterwards.

"But when I step on the court, I just need to focus on what I need to do."

Serbia's Dusan Lajovic eliminated three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in straight sets earlier in the afternoon.

The world number 54 has an impressive list of wins this year -- including over compatriot Djokovic, and Sinner.

But Britain's Andy Murray had a miserable night, losing to Russian Roman Safiullin 6-3, 6-2.

The loss crowns a disappointing set of recent results for the 36-year-old, who has been a finalist in Shanghai four times previously.

He also crashed out of the China Open in the first round last week in Beijing.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)



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