Historic Victory Lifts Sinner Into Vienna Final Against Medvedev

Jannik Sinner (photo: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger)

VIENNA/WASHINGTON, October 28, 2023 (by Michael Dickens)

Jannik Sinner did what no other Italian man has ever done in a single tennis season on Saturday. He won his 55th singles match of the year, breaking the Open Era record of 54 wins by Corrado Barazzutti, which stood since 1978.

The World No. 4 from San Candido, Italy in the South Tyrol, seeded No. 2 at this week’s ATP 500 Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria, defeated No. 3 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia, 7-5, 7-6 (5), in one hour and 49 minutes before a sold-out Wiener Stadthalle crowd of 9,600 fans, to reach Sunday’s final against World No. 3 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

The 22-year-old Sinner hit 10 aces and 26 winners overall, and played solid, front-footed tennis, which kept Rublev on the defensive. Although Sinner was unable to serve out the victory at 5-4 in the second set, he never wavered. Instead, he got stronger and more focused, and eventually gained his fourth win in six lifetime meetings against Rublev. It was the World No. 5 Russian’s first semifinal loss of the season after winning six in a row.

Now, Sinner, who has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, is through to his 13th career tour-level final – having gone 9-3 in the first 12 – and it’s his sixth title match of the season. He will be striving to capture his fourth title of 2023 to go with earlier crowns won in Montpellier, Toronto and Beijing.

Sinner’s opponent will 2022 Vienna champion and this year’s top seed Medvedev, who like Sinner, has already qualified for Turin, and has won five titles in 2023. Previously, Medvedev has lifted trophies at Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, Miami and Rome. He has also been a finalist at the US Open and Beijing.

In Saturday’s first semifinal, Medvedev earned his 64th win of the season – a personal best – by defeating No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, 6-4, 7-6 (6), in an hour and 44 minutes, to reach the Vienna final for the second straight year.

Medvedev played with ease and comfort, often standing well behind the baseline to engage Tsitsipas. It worked to his advantage and he hit 22 winners while committing  just 10 unforced errors. Medvedev saved all three break points he faced from Tsitsipas, who was seeking his fourth final of the season and 28th of his career.

“I served well throughout the whole match,” Medvedev said. “In general, I am happy with how I served and put pressure on him on a lot of points. I had a lot of opportunities and he played well on them also. Generally, this pressure paid off at the end of the match.”

Medvedev leads his career head-to-head against Sinner 6-1 and they’ve already met in three finals this season. Medvedev prevailed in Rotterdam and Miami, while Sinner won earlier this month in Beijing.

Around the Erste Bank Open

On Friday, American duo Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow kept alive their hopes to qualify for their first Nitto ATP Finals berth after advancing to their ninth tour-level final of the season.

The eighth-place Lammons and Withrow defeated Frenchmen Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 10-7, in an hour and 41 minutes. They have won four titles this season, at Newport, Atlanta, Winston-Salem and Astana.

In Sunday’s final, Lammons and Withrow will face No. 2 seeds Rajeev Ram of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain, who beat No. 3 seeds Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 10-6, in the semifinal round Saturday evening.

Saturday’s Erste Bank Open results

Sunday’s Erste Bank Open order of play

By the numbers

With his win Saturday, Daniil Medvedev improved to 9-4 lifetime against Stefanos Tsitsipas and now has now recorded the most victories on Tour in 2023 — 64 — surpassing Carlos Alcaraz’s 63.

“Quotable …”

“Jannik is finishing really strong so will be interesting to see how the match goes.”

–Defending champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who was asked in press after his semifinal victory Saturday to assess Jannik Sinner, his opponent in the title match.