Jannik Sinner overcomes Struff in three-set epic to secure Halle Open semi-final spot

Friday, 21 June 2024 at 19:34
Jannik Sinner (No. 1) overcame Jan-Lennard Struff (No. 41) 6-2, 6-7(1), 7-6(3) to stay in the race at the Halle Open. The 22-year-old extended his head-to-head record against the German to 3-0, reaching the semi-finals of a grass-court tournament for the second time, the first being at Wimbledon 2023.
The Italian had to go to a third set for the third consecutive match to secure his 36th win of the season. In the semi-finals, he awaits the winner between grass specialist Christopher Eubanks and Chinese player Zhang Zhizhen, while aiming for his fourth title of the season.

Sinner edges past Struff

The first set began with both players showing strong service games. Sinner conceded only four points on his serve throughout the set and created several break opportunities thanks to his excellent returns, even against Struff's first serve, winning points with slightly longer rallies.
The world No. 1 took the lead in the sixth game on his fourth break point and repeated the break in Struff's next service game. Struff, who had shown strong serving against Darderi and Tsitsipas, struggled with his effectiveness. Sinner had a 68% first serve percentage and won 92% of those points, while Struff hit 66% of his first serves but won only 52%, leading to a 6-2 set in favor of Sinner.
In the second set, Struff improved his serve and avoided long rallies. Sinner found it harder to return serve and had more trouble threatening Struff's service games. Both players held serve consistently, with Sinner not conceding any break points while creating several of his own, which he failed to convert. Struff held his nerve to take the set to a tiebreak, capitalizing on a weak start from Sinner to secure three mini-breaks and win 7-6(1), forcing a third set.
Jannik Sinner in Roland Garros.
The third set saw Sinner nearly break immediately, holding five break points in the first game, but Struff managed to escape the situation. Both players created break opportunities throughout the set, each winning over 80% of their first serve points.
The match was ultimately decided in a tiebreak, where Sinner secured an early mini-break, giving him an edge. He extended his lead to 3-0 on serve and, with another mini-break later, clinched the victory on his second match point, winning 6-2, 6-7(1), 7-6(3).

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