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Friday July 19, 2024

Sinner edges Hurkacz to win first grass-court title in Halle

By AFP
June 24, 2024
Italys world number one Jannik Sinner with the trophy after winning his first grass-court title in Halle.— AFP/file
Italy's world number one Jannik Sinner with the trophy after winning his first grass-court title in Halle.— AFP/file 

HALLE WESTFALEN, Germany: World number one Jannik Sinner won his first ever grass court tournament on Sunday beating former champion Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (10/8), 7-6 (7/2) in the Wimbledon warm-up ATP Halle tournament.

The 22-year-old Italian went to the top of the ATP rankings thanks to his semi-final run at the French Open this month.

“It means a lot. It was a tough match against Hubi,” said Sinner after playing his doubles partner. “I knew I had to serve really well and you play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. So I was happy and I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments.

“I´m very happy about this tournament because [winning for] the first time on a grass court, it´s a good feeling.” The triumph means Sinner is the first player since Andy Murray in 2016 to win his first tournament after becoming world No.1.

The fifth-seeded Pole Hurkacz, 27, won Halle two years ago and was chasing a second title of the season after winning on clay at Estoril in April. There were no service breaks in the match but Sinner won 85 per cent of his service points compared to only 69 per cent for Hurkacz. In the second-set tie-break Sinner took the early lead and never relinquished his advantage to claim a fourth title of the season as Hurkacz missed a final backhand.