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JANNIK Sinner pockets his fourth ATP title following a 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 6-3 win over Daniil Medvedev Erste Bank Open final in Vienna. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF JANNIK SINNER

VIENNA, Austria (AFP) — Italy’s Jannik Sinner won his fourth ATP title of the season on Sunday after beating Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 6-3 in the Erste Bank Open final in Vienna.

Sinner defeated Medvedev for the second time in three weeks, having also overcome the Russian in the Beijing final at the start of October.

Medvedev was attempting to retain the title he won last year in Austria but Sinner nudged ahead in the final set, taking his ninth break point of an 18-minute game for a 3-1 lead.

Former world No. 1 Medvedev broke back the following game only to immediately again drop serve, allowing Sinner to close out victory in just over three hours.

“It took a lot of mental and physical stuff,” said Sinner, who retrieved a break in the opening set and saved two set points before snatching the tie-break.

“I think we both served very well the first set. I managed somehow to get back on serve when he was a break up, because I felt like he was serving really good. I found a way in the first set.”

Medvedev, who beat Sinner in the finals in Miami and Rotterdam earlier this year, hit back with a couple of breaks in the second set to force a decider.

“Second set, I felt like he was trying to get into the rally a little bit more and I was hustling a little bit,” Sinner said.

The fourth-ranked Sinner raised his level in the final set, finally putting away Medvedev to capture his 10th career title.

“In the third set I tried to step up a little bit. I had a lot of break points, I couldn’t use them and then at the end I used them so I’m very happy,” Sinner said.

“Obviously, to finish the match, it was really a mental thing, but I’m very happy about how I managed today and very happy for another title.”

Both players are in the draw for next week’s Paris Masters. Sinner and Medvedev have already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin.

Over in Mexico, top-ranked Aryna Sabalenka moved closer to clinching the year-end world No. 1 ranking by dominating Greece’s Maria Sakkari in a group-stage opener at the WTA Finals.

The 25-year-old from Belarus, who captured this year’s Australian Open title, fired six aces and 17 winners while saving all five break points she faced to dispatch Sakkari 6-0, 6-1 at the season-ending event in Cancun.

Sakkari saved three match points to hold serve in the penultimate game but fell after 74 minutes.

“It wasn’t as easy as the score showed,” Sabalenka said.

“I just tries to stay focused, tried to control myself in this match, doing everything I can to win.”


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