Sinner Survives Kotov Scare in Madrid, Reaches Last 16

Sinner Survives Kotov Scare in Madrid, Reaches Last 16

Jannik Sinner, the reigning Australian Open champion, faced a stern test in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open against unseeded Pavel Kotov. Despite being the No. 1 seed, Sinner struggled to find his usual rhythm and was broken twice in the first set. However, the Italian showed his resilience, saving a set point and rallying from 5-3 down in the second set to secure a 6-2, 7-5 victory.

Kotov, ranked No. 72 in the world, had upset Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Jordan Thompson to earn his shot at Sinner. The Russian played with determination, but lacked the consistency to capitalize on his opportunities. Sinner, despite hitting more winners and making fewer unforced errors, struggled to find his usual crispness.

In the second set, Kotov broke Sinner's serve three times in a row to take a 5-3 lead. However, Sinner refused to give up. He broke back immediately and held serve to level the set at 5-5. In the ninth game, Kotov had a set point, but Sinner saved it with a powerful forehand.

The momentum had shifted in Sinner's favor. He broke Kotov's serve again in the 11th game and served for the match. Kotov saved three match points, but Sinner eventually sealed the victory on his fourth attempt.

Sinner's win marks his first appearance in the last 16 in Madrid. He will face either No. 16 seed Karen Khachanov or his compatriot, Flavio Cobolli, in the fourth round.

Tags: #JannikSinner, #PavelKotov, #MutuaMadridOpen, #ATP1000, #Tennis

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