Jannik Sinner sweeps Grigor Dimitrov aside to win Miami Open

Jannik Sinner sweeps Grigor Dimitrov aside to win Miami Open

In the hours after Jannik Sinner’s Australian Open triumph, the Italian was still digesting his life-changing achievement as he spoke with the media. Most players in his position may have just allowed themselves a second to relax and enjoy the moment, but even with the trophy still in his hands, Sinner was already thinking of the future: “I know that I have to work even harder, because the opponents, they will find the way to beat me and I have to be prepared,” he said.

It has come as no surprise, then, that Sinner has used his first major title as a springboard to greater heights and he continues to perform at an astounding, consistent level. Sinner closed off his immaculate early hardcourt season by completely outplaying Grigor Dimitrov, the 11th seed, easily winning 6-3, 6-1 to clinch his second Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open.

Three months into the season, with the first hard court period complete, Sinner sits at No 1 in the ATP race and he will rise to a new career high of No 2 in the rankings. There is no doubt that the 22-year-old has been the best player in the world so far this year and with Novak Djokovic now just 1015 points away and playing infrequently, he is closing in on the No 1 ranking.

Since finishing last season by leading Italy to the Davis Cup title, Sinner has compiled a 25-1 record, with three titles plus the Davis Cup in this period, his title count rising to 13. Sinner’s only defeat of the season came to his great rival Carlos Alcaraz two weeks ago at Indian Wells, and he has demonstrated his mental fortitude by immediately bouncing back to win another title.

When he emerged on the tour, Sinner quickly became well-known for his nuclear shotmaking but his serve, which once lagged behind the rest of his game, has improved dramatically and it is now one of his greatest weapons. He finished the final with 88% of points won behind his first serve and no breaks conceded.

Over the past few years, Sinner has also grown into such a supreme athlete. Not only did he relentlessly break down Dimitrov’s defences with his pace and weight of shot, but his movement now makes it so difficult to consistently put the ball past him. Sinner was everywhere, retrieving shots that were ending points for Dimitrov in previous rounds, and he punished every average approach shot from Dimitrov, effortlessly threading passing shots by him.

This has also been an incredible tournament for Dimitrov himself, who will return to the top 10 playing some of the best tennis of his career at 32 years old. He is handling the big moments better than in previous years. His excellent run to the final included three top 10 wins, with his dismantling of Alcaraz, the world No 2, in the quarter-finals, one the best performances of his career.

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But at the moment, Sinner is too complete, too confident, too tough and there is currently nobody else in the world consistently matching the standards he sets every time he enters the court.