Sinner Sinks Sonego, Rune Also Reaches Montpellier SFs

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Jannik Sinner moved to within two wins of capturing his sixth tour-level title on Friday when he moved past Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-2 at the Open Sud de France – Montpellier.

The 21-year-old Italian, who had never been beyond the first round in his two previous appearances at the ATP 250, overpowered his countryman throughout their one-hour, 34-minute encounter. Sinner stepped inside the baseline to push Sonego back, hitting an array of winners off both wings to improve his tour-level record against Italians to 6-0.

“I know him very well,” Sinner said about Sonego. “Playing Davis Cup together. He is a very nice person, very humble. We practised together at the beginning of the tournament, so it was bad luck to play already in the quarter-finals but I am very happy to be here.”

The second seed is now 7-2 on the season, having reached the quarter-finals in Adelaide and the fourth round at the Australian Open. Sinner will face #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils in the semi-finals on Saturday.

“I have seen him [Fils] play here at this tournament,” Sinner said. “He is very strong physically already. He understands the game very well. He started off the year very well, so it is going to be an interesting match for sure.”


Earlier, Fils continued his dream run when he defeated countryman Quentin Halys 7-6(3), 6-3. The 18-year-old is the youngest Frenchman to reach a tour-level semi-final since Richard Gasquet in Metz in 2004.

Fils, who has yet to drop a set at the ATP 250, won 82 per cent (37/45) of his first-serve points and saved the one break point he faced to advance after 83 minutes. With his victory, the 18-year-old has rose to No. 117 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Halys was aiming to reach his first tour-level semi-final, having also advanced to the quarter-finals in Auckland last month.

Top seed Holger Rune also progressed to the semi-finals with a 7-6(2), 7-6(5) victory against Frenchman Gregoire Barrere. The Dane has now won all three tie-breaks he has played in Montpellier to advance to the last four without losing a set.

Rune is competing in France for the first time since the biggest victory of his career at last year’s Rolex Paris Masters, where he upset Novak Djokovic to claim his first ATP Masters 1000 crown. The 19-year-old is trying to secure his first title of the season this week.

Next up for the teen star will be third seed Borna Coric or serve-and-volleying American Maxime Cressy.

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