Djokovic-Sinner 5:7, 0:0
With the score at 15:15, Sinner tries the lob. But Djokovic does well, jumps to the net and leaves no doubts in hitting the ball.
Conclusion sentence one
After everything seemed like a fast and even game at the beginning, the first set developed enormously. There aren’t many long rallies, that is, over nine shots, but both conceded break points against each other. Both are also close in terms of statistics, so only nuances decided who won the set. Sinner was a little braver towards the end and managed to get into the Serbian’s head. It remains very exciting to see whether the 22-year-old can carry this momentum into the second set or whether Djokovic responds immediately.
And Sinner also scores his eighth point in a row. There are three match points for the Italian. The first serve flies just out of bounds, but Sinner can do a lot of damage even with the second serve. Djokovic then underestimates Sinner’s forehand, loses his balance and the ball remains on his side. This brings a total of nine points for the local hero, who effectively wins the first set without a tiebreak!
Sinner recognizes that Novak Djokovic is defensive and steps forward. The volley flies into the Serbian’s corner, but is played so well that the lob ends up out of bounds, 30-0 from Sinner’s point of view.
Will Sinner be able to confirm the break and take the first set? He can resist the Serbian’s baseline punches, but not only that! He even makes his opponent lose balance, so much so that his forehand ends up in the net.
Pressure for Sinner? It seems she doesn’t know. He smashes the return cross right into the corner and follows up with the forehand again into the same corner. Djokovic stretches, but he can’t do anything anymore. After 40:0, Jannik Sinner brings five points to his team and only needs one step to win the first set.
At this stage Djokovic’s first serve weakens slightly. And not only! The world number one produces the first double fault of the match, which also means a break point.
Played well! Sinner remains courageous and opts for the backhand forehand again. As a result, the Serbian can only clear a high ball and Sinner works hard to equalize. Is there still a possible breakup?
After three quick points in a row, including ace number six, Jannik Sinner hits his backhand right on the baseline. Djokovic was on the right track and can no longer do anything. The Serbian also dares to take a step forward in the next event. This time he is overcome by Sinner’s backhand longline, 40:30.
The world number one leaves something more in this phase of the game. Two unforced errors later, Sinner has the draw off his bat. The serve flies to the center for a service winner. Both are moving decisively towards the tie-break.
It hurts! Djokovic expects Sinner’s cross on the forehand and is ready. In fact, Sinner is looking at this very curve. Djokovic created his forehand to take the lead at 30:15. Is there a preliminary decision in the first sentence?
Jannik Sinner now fights against losing the set. The outgoing serve doesn’t turn into an ace, but Djokovic’s forehand return doesn’t clear the net.
The service to the center ends up on Sinner’s forehand again. He pushes the ball into the net and once again there is a zero-zero service game.
Djokovic follows suit with another ace. Now there are five aces for the Serbian and six for the Italian. Furthermore, Djokovic’s first serve percentage is just under 73%.
Djokovic takes all the risks with his forehand cross and isn’t rewarded for it. The ball falls slightly but clearly into touch.
After two quick points for Sinner, the Italian moves his forehand behind the baseline. But this doesn’t interest him, because with the outside serve ahead he books the next ace and from his point of view it’s 40:15.
The Serbian doesn’t let anything go wrong. He took the lead with a calm and tactically intelligent volley against the advanced Sinner. A good first serve ensures him the advantage.
The service passes to the center, i.e. to Sinner’s forehand. The forehand tends to be the weakest shot for the Italian. Novak Djokovic is right here too, because a frame shot destroys any hope of a break.
There is the first break possibility for the challenger. Sinner chooses the right corners twice more and in the end it is the 36-year-old who becomes too frenetic.
The second point is immediately followed by the third! But anyone who knows Djokovic knows that he won’t let the deficit remain for long. He decides at the right time for the long forehand and puts Sinner in enormous difficulty, 30:30.
Djokovic opens the court with the serve to the outside and then places the backhand into the free corner. Sinner is quick on his feet, but his backhand cross ends up in the net. The following is one of the few small mistakes made by the new and old number one in the world. Djokovic wants to play the backhand cross too precisely and misses the court. It’s the second point for Sinner when Djokovic serves.
Jannik Sinner shows nerve! With the fifth ace he suddenly ties the breakball against him. And not only! He fights for the lead and grabs the next forehand stop. This time he senses the Serbian’s cross early. The backhand flies down the winner’s line and everything stays on line.
This doesn’t exist! The world number one accelerates the pace with the forehand cross. Sinner comes out of nowhere to block the forehand, but Djokovic is awake. Like a champion, he recovers the ball and puts a short volley down the sideline. There is the first break point.
With a successful first serve, Sinner gets the ball. Then it’s Novak Djokovic’s turn again. He dictates the balls from the baseline and lets Sinner run until he deflects his forehand into the double court. For the first time this evening we are talking about a debut.
However, it will be tight again. The 36-year-old’s response ends up at the feet of Sinner, who bends his forehand back. When the score is 30:30, the decision is made: is there the first break point or is it the ball of the game for the local player?
After a quick point for Djokovic, Sinner gets the first point on a rally. The Serbian’s slow backhand slice gives Sinner enough time to position himself perfectly on the ball. He circles the backhand and reverses the forehand at a sharp angle, 15:15.
The slice serve to the outside gives him 3-2 in the first set. Both have already served four aces in this first phase of the game. So your arms are running!
After the first point went to Sinner, Djokovic decided to serve and volley on the second serve. He closes the lateral spar and manages to intercept Sinner’s counterattack. He follows ace number three, still on the outside.
However, the Italian does not let himself be disturbed. His second serve is sharp enough to ideally set up the match winner.
After three incredible aces in a row, the first exchange actually takes place. Djokovic gets balls very early and can place them very close to the baseline. This forces Sinner to make a mistake with his forehand. From Sinner’s perspective, a similar picture emerges in the exchange following 40:30.
Will we see three-nil service games right at the start? The answer is a resounding yes! So far we have waited in vain for long rallies. Djokovic hits another ace on the outside and then hits a service winner.
How does Sinner fit into this match? Two return errors from Djokovic and a backhand cross into the net set up another flawless serve. Sinner then hits his first ace on the outside and equalizes 1:1 in the first set.
Without letting anything burn, the Serbian pushes the first ace and brings his serve to zero. He had a perfect start.
Dinner is served! Novak Djokovic has the first word and starts with a central serve that Sinner is no longer able to bring back under control. The backhand return then ends up in the net for 30-0.
The players are there
The players arrived on the field on time. Novak Djokovic gives Sinner the choice in the coin toss. The Italian wins and decides to return. Djokovic will start the match with his serve after the short warm-up.
Djokovic the first favorite
On the other side awaits Novak Djokovic, the reigning champion and six-time ATP Finals champion. The Serbian will definitively close the year as number one in the world. If these are not the best conditions to be considered one of the favorites at this year’s finals. In his first match against Holger Rune, Djokovic found things quite difficult. The 36-year-old won the first tiebreak, the second went to the young Dane. Only in the third set did Djokovic manage to break away. The next difficult task awaits Jannik Sinner.
Local hero in impressive form
On the one hand there is Jannik Sinner, the local hero. He will surely be the audience’s favorite this evening. The 22-year-old has yet to win the Nitto ATP Finals, but in 2019 he was crowned ATP Next-Gen Champion. Sinner also opened this year’s final with his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Italian did not give his opponent the slightest chance and emerged victorious 6:4 and 6:4. Tsitsipas has been particularly powerless against improving the quality of service. Tsitsipas himself failed to finish his second match today. After three matches, the Greek had to give up against Holger Rune due to injury.
Good evening and welcome to the night session of the ATP Finals. The two winners of the first round meet in the Green Group. Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic are expected on the Central Court at 9.00 pm.