Jannik Sinner beats Daniil Medvedev for the first time to take a huge leap towards the ATP finals in Turin.
Before a ball had even been hit, the Beijing Open was already being referred to as one of the best ATP 500 lineups in history.
With the race for the Turin ATP Finals in full swing, several of the world’s top players were desperate to participate to gain valuable points for the race to the sacred final event of the ATP season.
Alcaraz, Medvedev, Sinner, Rune, Ruud, Zverev, Rublev, de Minaur and Tsitsipas, were all present in the tournament, that’s eight of the world’s top ten. After it was all said and done, the last two standing were Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner.
Despite failing to win a Grand Slam, Medvedev has enjoyed a successful year on tour, winning his first clay court tournament, producing a career best performance at Wimbledon, and making another US Open final, only to fall short to Djokovic. Medvedev’s good performances were enough to see him guarantee his place in the ATP finals alongside Djokovic and Alcaraz.
But Sinner’s place was still very much at risk.
Victory in Beijing would all but guarantee Sinner a spot in the ATP finals, but that looked unlikely when the Italian star was pictured vomiting into a bin during his quarter-final match against Grigor Dimitrov.
Despite managing to win his quarter-final, Sinner had Carlos Alcaraz to deal with in the semi-finals. Rumours of injury and illness meant that few gave Sinner a chance against the imposing Alcaraz, but he proved the doubters wrong, putting in a career best performance to brush Alcaraz aside 7-6, 6-1.
It served as another enthralling chapter in what will be an exhilarating rivalry between the pair.
Approaching the final, it was Medvedev who had an overwhelming lead in their head-to-head, winning all six of their matches on tour.
But it was the young Italian who got off to the better start, winning the first set 7-6 (7-2). Sinner’s serve was on sensational form throughout the set, only facing one break point.
Sinner appeared to be pushing the pace in the early stages of set two, but much like the first, there were no breaks to speak of, with Medvedev managing to hold off the Sinner onslaught. Both men served phenomenally, Sinner only losing one point on his first serve in set two, and Medvedev only losing two.
Despite the close nature of the score line, Sinner always looked to be in control and dispatched of Medvedev in the second tie-break of the match, 7-2, to win his 9th ATP title.
Sinner’s hitting throughout the tournament has been quite exceptional, with his performances against Alcaraz and Medvedev being particularly impressive.
He now sits fourth in the race to Turin rankings, only requiring a few more singles victories to secure his place in what will be a home tournament for him.
The form Sinner has shown over this year has further added to the promise that himself and Alcaraz will produce an exceptional rivalry for years to come. I don’t doubt that 2024 will be the year we see this rivalry come into its own, with both players likely to challenge for the majority of the Slams.
Tennis fans need merely sit back and enjoy.