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DEMON DESPAIR AS SINNER'S UNDEFEATED RUN CONTINUES WINNING ROTTERDAM



There are no signs of slowing down for Jannik Sinner as the Australian Open champion claimed his maiden Rotterdam crown against a valiant Alex De Minaur.


Appearing in his 15th ATP final, it would always be an uphill battle for the Australian who arrived trailing 0-6 in the head-to-head - including three finals.


10 aces throughout the match for De Minaur proved that he was serving well, but it only took one lapse in concentration in the first set to succumb to the break to trail 2-3.


Struggling to serve out the opener against Raonic in the quarter-finals, déjà vu struck for Sinner as he failed to capitalise on the opportunity to close the set with De Minaur saving four set points to level at 5-5 before recouping with another break to edge one step closer to glory.


The 22-year-old Italian was aggressive and near-perfect with 23 winners to recover from letting slip a break advantage in both sets - showing great resilience to win 7-5, 6-4.


The result sees Sinner rise one spot to world No.3 in the ATP rankings thanks to an undefeated 14-0 start to the season (including the Kooyong Classic) - becoming the highest-ranked Italian in history.


“I am really proud with the level that I played throughout this whole week,” said Sinner post-game. “We have been in tough situations but we handled it the right way. We will always try to improve, it is the most important."


It’s more heartbreak for De Minaur who has only taken one set from Sinner in seven meetings and lost the eighth final of his career.


However, he achieved a new career-high ranking for the second time in a matter of weeks - climbing to No.9 to narrow the gap on Hubert Hurkacz and Holger Rune by less than 500 points.


The 25-year-old will prepare to go one better in Los Cabos this week after losing another final last year to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Mexico.

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