Jannik Sinner Survives Challenging Debut as World No. 1 at Terra Wortmann Open

Published Jun 19, 2024


Jannik Sinner faced a tough challenge in his first match as World No.1 at the Terra Wortmann Open on Tuesday. The top seed fought through an opening-round scare to defeat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-2 in his first grass-court match of the season. Sinner, playing his debut match as the top-ranked player in the PIF ATP Rankings, experienced a tense first hour in Halle, struggling to convert two set points in the opening-set tie-break and later facing triple break point in the second set.

"It was for sure mentally tough," Sinner said in his on-court interview. "I was 5/1 up in the tie-break in the first set. But this can happen, especially on this surface, it can go very, very fast. I think I was good mentally. I was struggling in the second set, 0/40 down on my serve. If he makes that point, it is even more difficult."

The Italian, last year’s Nitto ATP Finals runner-up, found his rhythm as the match progressed. Sinner manoeuvered around the court with increased confidence, delivering clean and powerful strokes to secure victory after two hours and 22 minutes. Aiming for his fourth trophy of 2024 and his first grass-court title, Sinner fired 15 aces and saved all four breakpoints faced. Sinner will next face Hungarian Fabian Marozsan, who defeated Roman Safiullin 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

Other Highlights from Halle Tuesday Action

In another significant match, American Marcos Giron upset last year’s finalist Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-6(5) to earn his first Top 10 win of the season. Giron, ranked No. 48 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings and just four spots shy of tying his career-high, avenged last month’s loss to the fourth seed in Rome. “It feels great. That’s why we play these matches, to play against the best players in the world. I’m pumped. I’m playing well on grass,” Giron said. “We had an absolute war in Rome this year, 7-5 in the third, I served for the match. I know I have the game to beat him, it’s just a matter of doing it and executing it.”

Germany’s Alexander Zverev also navigated through a challenging opening-round test, defeating compatriot Oscar Otte 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4. The second-seeded German, aiming to surpass his previous finalist appearances in Halle (2016, 2017), showcased patience and strategic play to outlast Otte. “A week ago, I was playing on clay still basically. He made it very tough for me, no rhythm at all,” Zverev noted in his post-match interview. “That's how grass-court tennis is sometimes and I’m just happy with the win. He did make it extremely difficult for me, so credit to him. I’m obviously happy that I won and hopefully it's going to be a level above in the next match.”

Defending champion Alexander Bublik continued his strong form with a 7-6(1), 6-4 win against Max Purcell. James Duckworth defeated #NextGenATP wild card Joao Fonseca 6-4, 6-4, while Arthur Fils, last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF finalist, comfortably beat Tomas Machac 6-4, 6-4 in 70 minutes. Christopher Eubanks also advanced by ousting Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-4.

As the tournament progresses, fans can anticipate more captivating matches and potential upsets. The Terra Wortmann Open continues to be a pivotal event in the tennis calendar, offering a glimpse into the remarkable talent and tenacity of the world's top players. With each match, the drama and excitement build, setting the stage for an unforgettable conclusion to the tournament.