In a stunning upset, 22-year-old Jannik Sinner notched his inaugural victory against Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in Turin. Sinner clinched the group match in a thrilling three-hour and nine-minute encounter, winning 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2). This marked Djokovic’s first loss since the Wimbledon men’s final in July.
Additionally, Stefanos Tsitsipas, aged 25, withdrew from the competition due to injury, retiring in his match against Holger Rune after consulting with a doctor during the changeover.
Sinner, set to face Rune in his upcoming third match, halted Djokovic’s impressive 19-match unbeaten streak, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
Despite this setback, the 24-time Grand Slam champion has a chance to secure a spot in the semi-finals by overcoming the challenge of Polish ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz, who stepped in as Tsitsipas‘ replacement.
“It kills me not to be able to finish this tournament,” the Greek said.
Sinner won the opening set, but Djokovic responded to tie the match and battled back from a 4-2 deficit in the third set before losing in the decisive tie-break.
“I think I was really brave and intelligent in important moments. We both played really well, it was a high-level match,” world no.4 Sinner told Amazon Prime.
“It means a lot to me, when you win against the world number one who has 24 Grand Slams, it’s the top”.
“It was a tactical match and I managed to win so I’m really, really happy.”
The world number six Tsitsipas lost his group match against Rune 2-1 and seemed to be suffering from a back ailment. He left the court to jeers from the Pala Alpitour crowd.
“I’m really gutted that I wasn’t able to finish the match,” he said. “It’s a shame also not to give that spot to someone else to at least try and do something with it.
“Unfortunately, I felt terrible on the court. I did what I could do in the best possible way to be ready and fit for this match, but it didn’t work out for me.”
“For sure it was very unfortunate,” 20-year-old Rune said. “Even in the first service game you could see he wasn’t serving anywhere near full like he can, I knew something was off.”