Jannik Grešnik provided evening entertainment in International BNL of Italy on Tuesday, sending Italian fans home happy after his 6-4, 6-3 victory Pedro Martinez. The San Candida native made a strong start in Rome, firing 26 winners – including 15 from the forehand – as he opened his offer to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in the Italian capital.
“Obviously very pleased,” he said of the result. “It was a very warm welcome from all of them. It’s an amazing feeling to play here in Rome with a lot of spectators.
“I can be happy. I can do better for sure, so let’s see how it goes.”
The 20-year-old won Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP final at home in Milan in 2019, but has only been once in his last 16 in three previous appearances in Rome. He has reached the quarterfinals of four of his six ATP Tour tournaments this season, including the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami and Monte Carlo, and Australian Open.
As Martinez entered the Roma Masters 1000 in 40th career in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, the Spaniard provided a tough introductory exam for his 10th opponent opponent in the first match of the pair. But Sinner, who improved to 7-0 in the games of the first round of the season, accepted the challenge with the support of a crowded crowd in the center field.
FOLLOW THIS WEEKLY ACTION
The Italian rushed out of the gate scoring the first seven points of the game on the way to a 3-0 lead. Although he missed the opportunity to serve the first set, Sinner immediately recovered by returning with a powerful kick that led him to the lead. Attaching Martinez behind the baseline, he sealed the set with his second break, firing the winners from both base wings for the final two points.
Martinez could do little as Sinner again took a 3-0 lead in the second set with even better play at baseline. He saved the only break ball he faced in the second and closed the match with his fourth ace after an hour and 24 minutes.
The home favorite dominated The balance of power in the game, playing 26 percent of his shots from attacking positions compared to 17 percent for Martinez.
Sinner will face his countryman next Fabio Fognini Wednesday night in the second round. Fognini won Dominic Thiem on Monday and shares two wins from his 400th tour-level win. The central field headliner will be their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
“I met him a little more at the Davis Cup,” Sinner said of Fognini. He gave me many, many things, some energy, because it wasn’t easy for me for the first time last year in Turin. It will certainly be difficult for me now, for him. It will be a full house. But I [will] just enjoy. I hope it will be a great match.
“I hope [the crowd support] they will be equal. Because it went down in history, especially here. And now I’m starting, so it’s a bit of a second generation. “