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Flawless Jannik Sinner shines to win Miami Open

JANNIK SINNER dominated Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 6-1 on Sunday to win the Miami Open for the first time and rise to world number two.

The Italian fired a passing shot howling by his Bulgarian opponent for a crucial break in the first set and captured the opener with a brilliant backhand winner that brought the fans at Hard Rock Stadium to their feet.

The 32-year-old Mr. Dimitrov, who has experienced a career renaissance this season, had no answer for Mr. Sinner’s flawless game in the second set and was broken again when his backhand landed in the net to fall behind 3-1.

Mr. Dimitrov badly missed an overhead to hand Mr. Sinner the 5-1 lead and did not even try to chase down Mr. Sinner’s backhand winner on championship point.

Mr. Sinner won 88% of his first serve points and thumped 15 winners to capture the title in South Florida after finishing as the runner-up in 2021 and 2023.

“I raised my level dramatically for semis and final, which I’ve shown on the court and obviously the result is amazing,” Mr. Sinner said.

“I felt like I was serving really well in the important moments which gives me a lot of confidence… Physically I feel good, I feel fresh even now.”

Australian Open champion Mr. Sinner, who scooped a second Masters 1000 title following his success in Canada last year, has won 25 of his last 26 matches and has only lost three times since last year’s US Open.

The 22-year-old will take over the world number two ranking from his rival Carlos Alcaraz on Monday and said he knows that he has a target on his back heading into the claycourt season.

“Hopefully I can improve because the opponents are going to come for me,” he said.

“They are going to play freely, they are going to hit bigger and harder, and mentally I have to be ready.

“Now, new chapter, the clay is coming. Usually I struggle there a little bit so let’s see what I can achieve this time but this season has been nearly perfect.

“I never expected it to be like this at the beginning of the year but that’s what happened. Now I am just living in the moment.”

Mr. Sinner, who hails from the northern Italian village of San Candido, said it was a great honor to be the highest-ranked Italian in the history of the sport.

“Being number two is an incredible achievement,” he said. — Reuters

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