Jannik Sinner squeaks by Gael Monfils in Rotterdam

Sinner is on to the quarterfinals in Rotterdam.

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Gael Monfils was able to accomplish something on Thursday many have not been able to do recently. That is to win a set against Jannik Sinner. Sinner was dominant in the first set in his round of 16 matchup against Monfils, but the Frenchman was able to come back and get the second set 6-3. Sinner, however, as he has been able to do more and more as he gets older, kept his cool and used the third set to cruelly put away Monfils 6-3 3-6 6-3.

To be sure, Sinner was not playing poorly. Monfils has been playing a higher level of tennis over the last six months and was a worthy foe for the Italian. But the poise and calm Sinner kept through the match is likely the same kind that will have him battling for the ATP's top ranking for many years to come.

Monfils was brilliant when he approached the net and his ability to move around the court, even at 37 years old, is likely the envy of many players nearly half his age on tour. This allowed him to stick around with the ascending Sinner though most players would not. Monfils also finished with more efficient numbers in terms of winners and unforced errors.

Jannik Sinner Sinner takes out Gael Monfils to move on at ABN AMRO Open

That Sinner was able to get the win speaks of how well he has been playing since last August. He no longer seems to tighten when the stress of the match does the same. He appears to have a belief that he is going to win, and, most often, he does. If he is arguably the best player in men's tennis currently after having dispatched Novak Djokovic in three of their last four meetings.

Sinner will next play Milos Raonic on Friday in the quarterfinals. Raonic might be a little easier opponent for Sinner than Monfils as Raonic does not move as well. The other part of Jannik Sinner's draw has several tough players he could potentially face, however. This includes Grigor Dimitrov, Alex de Minaur, and second-seed Andrey Rublev.

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