Jannik Sinner made history on Saturday when he became the first Italian man in the Open Era (since 1968) to earn 55 wins in a season, reaching the Erste Bank Open final in the process.
The 22-year-old overcame Andrey Rublev 7-5, 7-6(5) in Vienna to notch his 55th victory of 2023, surpassing Corrado Barazzutti’s 54 mark in 1978.
Sinner played front-foot tennis throughout the one-hour, 52-minute clash against Rublev. He struck 26 winners, including 10 aces, and recovered from failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set by raising his depth and power in the tie-break.
With his win, Sinner improved to 4-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series, while he ended Rublev’s 100 per cent record in tour-level semi-finals in 2023. The third seed was 6-0 before facing Sinner.
Sinner, who will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin in November after qualifying earlier this month, is into his sixth final of the season and 13th overall.
The second seed will meet Daniil Medvedev in the title match as he aims to win his fourth crown of the year. Earlier this year, Sinner triumphed in Montpellier and Beijing, while he clinched his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto.
Rublev had tasted success in Vienna before, winning the title at the hard-court event in 2020. The World No. 5, who will join Sinner in Turin at the prestigious year-end event, was chasing his sixth trophy at ATP 500 level.