Two things that stood out in Jannik Sinner's semifinal win over Tommy Paul at the Canadian Open
Seventh seed Jannik Sinner of Italy defeated 12th seed Tommy Paul of the United States 6-4, 6-4 in the Canadian Open semifinal in Toronto last Friday. The match lasted for less than two hours, as the 21-year-old Italian reached his second Masters 1000 final. The 26-year-old American, who had beaten top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals, could not repeat his giant-killing act against the Italian.
Sinner will face Alex de Minaur of Australia in the final on Sunday. De Minaur is in good form at the moment, but Sinner should be the favourite to win his first Masters 1000 title.
On that note, let us take a look at two things that stood out in the match:
#1. Sinner directed a lot of traffic towards Paul's backhand:
Paul's forehand had won him a lot of points against Alcaraz. Hence, Sinner played a lot of shots towards the American's backhand, thereby not allowing the latter to dictate terms with his forehand. There were a lot of crosscourt backhand exchanges between the two, but Sinner typically had the more powerful groundstrokes.
The Italian broke Paul to take a 5-3 lead in the first set. However, the American then broke back to reduce the deficit to 4-5. Paul then missed an opportunity to restore parity as Sinner broke him once again in the 10th game to win the set and draw first blood.
#2. Paul defended well, but kept hitting his shots long:
Sinner started the second set in great fashion by racing to a 3-1 lead. The Italian kept hitting the angles with a lot of power, but Paul defended really well on either wing to remain in most of the rallies. However, the American was not aggressive enough to put pressure on the Italian on a regular basis.
Paul also hit a number of shots long while attempting to go for depth to gift a few easy points to the Italian.
Sinner capitalised on the early break by breaking Paul once again in the seventh game to go 5-2 up. However, Paul then broke back and held his serve to reduce the deficit to 4-5. Sinner then managed to serve the match out, with Paul hitting his forehand long once again on the match point.
Sinner is likely to dominate in the final as well against de Minaur from the baseline with his powerful groundstrokes. The Australian will have his task cut out against the Italian, with the odds being stacked against him.