Dusan Lajovic ruins Jannik Sinner’s birthday

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Bad awakening for Jannik Sinner who, after a triumph in Toronto and the benefit of a first-round bye, was beaten on his debut in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 on the very day he turned 22 with a score of 6-4 7-6 by 33-year-old Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who came from the qualifiers and was a finalist in Monte Carlo in 2019 when he lost to Fabio Fognini.

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The first set was very balanced with Lajovic keeping Sinner’s pace very well, and he was even the first to have a break point in the seventh game, which he punctually converted. Soon after, the Serb closed the partial by recovering from 0-30 in the decisive game.

In the second set Sinner wins the first break points, three, but Lajovic cancels them all with his first serve from the left, and in the same way he cancels another one in the next game. The eighth game is a psychodrama: Jannik is called two warnings for time on serve, on the second he has to serve the second, and most importantly he has to cancel a very dangerous break ball by succeeding.

The game goes on and the South Tyrolean has to cancel two more break points, and on the sixth chance he finally manages to hold the serve after 22 points played. The tie-break decides everything: Sinner goes 2-0 up but is tired and penalized by the tournament opener against an opponent who has already played four matches there, and from 3-3 the Serb places the decisive stretch and closes the partial 7-4 and the match after just over two hours. Now Jannik will have to recharge his batteries and show up charged in two weeks at the US Open, the last Slam of the season.

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