Steamrolling Sinner sets up Nadal re-match at Roland Garros
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PARIS – Italian prospect Jannik Sinner charged into the French Open fourth round with a 6-1 7-5 6-3 victory over Sweden's Mikael Ymer on Saturday to set up a clash with clay court king Rafael Nadal.
Sinner, seeded 18th, had too much poise and power for Ymer as he joined fellow Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti in the last 16.
After a one-sided opening set, Sinner let his guard down a tad and Ymer broke for 4-3, only for the 19-year-old Italian to break back for 5-5 and win the second set on his opponent's serve.
Ymer refused to capitulate and went 40-0 up on Sinner's serve at 1-1, but the teenager saw off four break points and snatched the decisive break in the eighth game before wrapping it up on serve.
After Nadal comfortably beat Britain's Cameron Norrie in straight sets on Saturday, he will face Sinner for the second year in a row at Roland Garros after beating him in the quarter-finals last year.
"In one way, it's tough to play against them. In the other way, I think it's good that we play against them," said Sinner, who also lost to Nadal in the Rome Masters this season despite holding break-advantages against the 13-time French Open champion.
"I think it's a good test. I've played twice already against Rafa. But this time is going to be a little bit different."
Musetti, also 19, became the sixth male player since 2000 to reach the fourth round on their Grand Slam debut as he beat his compatriot Marco Cecchinato 3-6 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-3.
Next up for him is 18-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, the world number one.
After reaching the fourth round a year later than Sinner, Musetti said he was happy that both had made it to the second week of the claycourt major, possibly to be later joined by Matteo Berrettini.
"He (Sinner) is a bit ahead of me and I'm just living what he was living last year. We are growing together, playing together every week," said Musetti, the world number 76.
"I'm happy if Jannik is going well, but of course I have to see myself improve. I'm really proud and happy that Jannik is still going forward and one of the best in the (ATP) race."
Sinner is 11th in the ATP Race, with the top eight qualifying for the ATP Tour finals at the end of the year.