Dusan Lajovic upsets Jannik Sinner in Cincinnati

League: Tennis

Posted on: 17 Aug, 2023 at 03:14 AM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic snuffed eighth-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner's chances at back-to-back titles on Wednesday by cruising to a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio.

Sinner defeated Australia's Alex de Minaur in the final of the National Bank Open in Toronto last weekend, but he struggled at this week's Cincinnati-area event. He couldn't make anything out of a 2-0 lead in the second-set tiebreaker and couldn't convert a single break point in five opportunities throughout the match.

Lajovic smacked 20 winners and won 44 of 58 first-service points en route to the victory.

"I knew I had been serving very well the past couple of days, so I thought if I continue to use my serve, both with the flat and the kick out wide, I could dominate the point after the serve," Lajovic said. "This is what I did most of the time in my service games.

"I was happy to finish in two sets because I know that going three sets against these kinds of players, it's always going to be much tougher."

Lajovic heads to the round of 16, where he will face No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz of the United States. Fritz was a 6-4, 7-6 (1) winner over Italy's Lorenzo Sonego.

Australian qualifier Max Purcell also pulled off an upset on Wednesday, edging No. 5 seed Casper Ruud of Norway 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Both players racked up 12 aces, but Purcell saved six of seven break points, while Ruud saved just one of three.

It marked Purcell's first victory over a top-10 opponent.

American wild card Mackenzie McDonald and Poland's Hubert Hurkacz took care of seeded foes as well. McDonald was leading Danish No. 6 seed Holger Rune 6-4, 2-0 before Rune retired, and Hurkacz rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory to oust Croatian 15th seed Borna Coric.

Three of the top four seeds in the tournament also won on Wednesday. No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia prevailed when Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina retired after the first set, third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev beat Italian Lorenzo Musetti and Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas eliminated American Ben Shelton.

No. 16 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, 14th-seeded Tommy Paul of the U.S. and France's Gael Monfils also won their matches. Monfils is playing on a protected ranking.

In the final match of the night, Swiss wild-card entrant Stan Wawrinka downed No. 10 seed Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-3, 6-4.

--Field Level Media