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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday July 31, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz had Jannik Sinner right where he wanted him on Sunday in Umag.

Tennis Express

The 19-year-old Spaniard was leading by a set and had six opportunities to take what would have been a 7-6, 2-0 lead in the second set. But Sinner stood tall, erased all six, and proceeded to win 11 of the final 12 games as he earned his first title of 2022.

The Italian finished off a 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1 victory, leaving Alcaraz perplexed.

“Jannik, second time you beat me this year, I’m going to figure out how to beat you this year," Alcaraz said.

In this highly anticipated final between two players that met in the round of 16 at Wimbledon earlier this month, it was Sinner who was able to peak at the right time. Alcaraz had a 5-0 record in ATP finals prior to last week, but after losses to Lorenzo Musetti in the Hamburg final, and now Sinner at Umag, the bulletproof Spaniard looks a little more human.

Sinner, meanwhile, is happy to have put some adversity behind him as he improves to 35-9 on the season.

“I come from a tough year until now," Sinner said. "We had some unfortunate moments, but we worked every time very hard to play better, to be a better player, a better person, so I’m very happy to be finally lifting a trophy this year, but I know that I have a lot of things to improve… it’s all about the process.”

Sinner saved all nine break points he faced across the two hour and 25-minute contest, while breaking Alcaraz five times from nine opportunities.

“That was a crucial point, I knew I had to stay there,” said Sinner of the stand he made in the second set. “He made some unforced errors, so I’m very happy that I won this game, and then after I returned well, and then I raised my level a bit – I think I found a solution.”

Despite the loss, Alcaraz will climb to a career-high ranking of No.4 in the world next week – Sinner will remain at No.10.


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