Staying the distance through nearly three hours on court is a learning curve in itself, let alone switching between the full gamut of match conditions Jannik Sinner has experienced in recent weeks. The #NextGenATP Italian prevailed over 14th seed Karen Khachanov to reach the Round of 16 at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Sunday.
The 19-year-old’s 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over the Russian came under sweltering Florida conditions in two hours and 50 minutes. It was not only the quality of the opponent, which made life difficult.
“After the first set, I tried to get out of this situation because at the end of the day we practise for these kind of tough matches, physically and mentally,” Sinner said. “This you're learning in practice, with everything. So at the end today, I'm very happy about the win and I'm looking forward to playing another match after tomorrow.”
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It was the third showdown that stretched the distance from as many ATP Head2Head encounters between the pair. Sinner now leads that ledger 2-1 and will brace for more Miami heat when he meets Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori for a place in the quarter-finals. The Finn backed up his upset of Alexander Zverev with a three-set triumph over Swede Mikael Ymer.
“It's about trying to understand how to beat these guys, what can I improve more,” he said. “Trying to understand more the match, obviously it can give me a lot of confidence after today.
“Our call was to play Marseille, Dubai and then here knowing already before that every tournament has different situations, everything is different. I'm ready for that, trying to adapt in the best possible way in every tournament.”
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