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World No. 1 Jannik Sinner Wins Wimbledon Opener, Aryna Sabalenka Confirms Withdrawal




Jannik Sinner overcame a mid-match wobble to see off the challenge of Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann in his Wimbledon opener on Monday but said he would have to raise his game. The Italian world number won 6-3, 6-4, 3-6,¬†6-3 in just under three hours on No. 1 Court to set up a match against¬†2021 Wimbledon finalist and compatriot Matteo Berrettini. “He played really well, he was serving well, I missed a couple of shots,” said Sinner. “First-round matches are never easy and in the next round I have to raise my level.

“I have a day off and then I need to get my rhythm.”

Sinner appeared on course for a straightforward victory against his 110th-ranked opponent after taking the first two sets.

But Hanfmann raced into a 4-0 lead in the third set, sealing it 6-3 before the roof was closed on the court.

Sinner, who won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open earlier this year, regrouped, outbattling his opponent to break in the fourth game of the fourth set.

The 22-year-old, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, punched a backhand past his opponent on his second match point to claim victory.

He hit a total of 47 winners against 30 unforced errors.

Sinner was asked during his on-court interview what it was like to play the tournament as the newly installed world number one.

“First of all it’s a huge privilege and honour to be in that position, and there’s no better place to play as a world number one,” he said.

“It’s an amazing feeling but every match starts with 0-0 and every opponent wants to win, as I do. All matches are a very high level, which all of you want to see.”

‘Heartbroken’

Two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Sabalenka, ranked third in the world, is one of eight players to have pulled out since the draw was made.

She had admitted she was not 100 percent fit after suffering a shoulder injury at the Berlin Open.

“Heartbroken to have to tell you all that I won’t be able to play the Championships this year,” wrote 26-year-old Sabalenka on X.

China’s world number eight Zheng Qinwen, the Australian Open runner-up, was the biggest casualty of the day, losing in the first round for a second successive year.

Zheng went down 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to New Zealand qualifier Lulu Sun, who celebrated her first Grand Slam match win.

Both Sabalenka and Zheng were potential semi-final opponents for US Open champion and second-ranked Coco Gauff, who eased past compatriot Caroline Dolehide 6-1, 6-2.

Former world number one Naomi Osaka claimed her first win at Wimbledon since 2018 when she recovered from a break down in the final set to defeat Diane Parry of France 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.

Four-time Grand Slam title winner Osaka fired 34 winners in the tie, which was decided when Parry served up her 10th double fault.

Victory was extra special for Osaka as it comes a day before her daughter Shai celebrates her first birthday.

“It feels like a dream because I haven’t played here many times,” said Osaka, whose last appearance at the All England Club was in 2019, when she exited in the first round.

Russian men’s fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, a semi-finalist last year, hit 16 aces in his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Aleksandar Kovacevic of the United States.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Topics mentioned in this article

Jannik Sinner
Aryna Sabalenka
Wimbledon 2024

Tennis

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