Jannik Sinner produced a determined display to win his third title of the year and ninth overall with a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) victory over second-seeded Daniil Medvedev in the final of the China Open on Wednesday.
The Italian entered his fifth championship match of the year trailing the 27-year-old 0-6 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. Sinner looked unfazed by his previous record against the World No. 3, though, firing his trademark clean groundstrokes with power to outlast Medvedev.
“Daniil, thanks for letting me win at least one match,” Sinner joked during the trophy ceremony. “We have had some very tough battles, especially this year. Thanks for making me a much better player. I have been training a lot to beat you.”
Sinner has lost a lot of close matches to elite opponents in recent years. Something was missing, or went haywire, at crunch time. That wasn’t true in Beijing. In the semifinals and final, he beat the No. 2 and 3 players in the world, Carlos Alcaraz and Medvedev, in straight sets. He played three tiebreakers in those matches and won them all comfortably. He has always been able to match pace with pace against anyone, but in these matches he showed an ability to finish points in different ways, and keep two of the world’s best players handcuffed at the baseline.
World number two and tournament favourite Carlos Alcaraz was eliminated by Sinner in their semi-final on Tuesday.
Sinner beat the two-time grand slam champion 7-6 6-1 in a statement victory, telling the ATP his performance was at the “very top” of the big matches he’s played in his career.
“I would say every match against him is very tough,” Sinner said. “We always show great respect, we both play great. When we play against each other, we try to stay on our limits.
With his 49th tour-level win of the season, Sinner has jumped to No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Sinner has also improved his Nitto ATP Finals hopes, consolidating fourth position in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. The nine-time tour-level champ, who captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto in August, is aiming to qualify for the prestigious year-end event for the first time. He competed on home soil in Turin as an alternate in 2021.
Earlier, world number two Iga Swiatek swatted aside compatriot Magda Linette to surge into the China Open quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Swiatek faces Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina or the ninth seed Caroline Garcia of France next.
Liudmila Samsonova edged out Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-5 on Wednesday night. She’ll face Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, the No 13 seed, in the next round.
Elena Rybakina defeated Mirra Andreeva 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday and will face the winner of the match between Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the top seed, and Italian Jasmine Paolini in the next round.