The second semi final of this year’s Erste Bank Open sure looked like another easy win for the favorite. With 1.5 hours played, Jannik Sinner served for the match against US qualifier Frances Tiafoe. With 2:17 hours played, the Italian left the centercourt as the loser.
The only 20-years old Sinner showed from the get-go who is the boss on the court. A break for a 3-2 lead quickly pointed the way. Another break followed to close the set 6-3.
In the second, Sinner jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and but when it came time to serve out the match, Tiafoe roared back with the support of the enthused Viennse crowd. He got the re-break, evened the game at 5-5, got another break and then forced a third set.
In a trance
There, Tiafoe played as if in trance. After a break to make it 2-1 he added another for a 5-2 lead. It was in this game that the crowd got treated to probably the most spectacular rally in the tournament: tweener half-volley from Tiafoe, then a more or less impossible volley and the point. The Stadthalle was going crazy. And Tiafoe didn’t start to disappoint at that point – with an ace he served out the set to win the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, ending Sinner’s winning run, after the Italian had won Antwerp only last week.