Jannik Sinner has arrived. Sinner dominated the first set against Novak Djokovic on Saturday in a must-win match for Italy against Serbia at the Davis Cup. Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti had lost to Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic earlier in the day in three sets. Sinner either beat Djokovic or Italy went home.
Sinner came out extremely sharp hitting winners with his crushing forehand or excellent backhand seemingly at will. Meanwhile, Djokovic just seemed a little off and simply not playing at the same level as Sinner. But that all changed in the second set. Though Sinner lost the first set 6-2, he would lose 2-6 in the second set to the Serb.
Jannik Sinner had a lot of confidence heading into the match as last week at the ATP Finals he had gone unbeaten in the round-robin stage, and one of those wins was against Djokovic. But in the final of the event, Djokovic simply rose his level as he is apt to do and Djokovic won the match in straight sets. But Jannik Sinner knew he could beat Djokovic and he never got rattled in Saturday’s Davis Cup play.
Jannik Sinner gets by Novak Djokovic in Davis Cup semifinal
Still, with the third set tied at 4-all and Jannik Sinner serving, the Italian fell behind love-40. Djokovic simply needed to win the game and hold serve in the next game to send Serbia to Sunday’s final. Instead, Sinner ran off six straight points to hold and then broke Djokovic to win the third set 6-4.
Jannik Sinner appears to be the second-best player on the ATP tour right now. Any player that can defeat Novak Djokovic twice in two weeks should claim that. His groundstrokes are crisp and deep and even when his serve isn’t perfect, just as it wasn’t in the third set against Djokovic, he finds a way to win. That drive to win might be as close to Djokovic’s level as any other player in tennis currently.
Serbia and Italy later played a doubles match and Sinner played for Italy and Djokovic played for Serbia. Once again, Sinner got the better of Djokovic and Italy moved into the Davis Cup final on Sunday. Italy will play Australia in the final.