There was no soft easing for Jannik sinner on Tuesday at US Open. The 11th Seed was forced to work overtime to fend off the resilient Daniel Altmaier in a five-set epic in the first round at the New York Hard Court Grand Slam.
The Italian prevailed against world No. 93 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting. Sinner seemed in control of the three-hour, 35-minute encounter after returning with some typically powerful baseline shots in the second and third sets, but tournament debutant Altmaier enjoyed a resurgence in the fourth set to propel the six-time Tour title roster the distance .
“Of course it’s very hard to play the first round in every tournament, and especially here where I think I can play well,” said Sinner in his on-pitch interview. “I’ve had moments where I played well and I’ve had moments where I could play better but [in the] The first lap is of course very difficult.”
Despite the one-sided nature of the fifth set, it was Sinner who found himself in trouble early in the deciding set as the 21-year-old recaptured 0/40 for a crucial serve at 1-1. He then secured an instant break for a 3-1 lead after claiming victory in a stunning break point while both players’ incredible defense had the crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium on their feet.
“There were some very fun points, but there were moments where there wasn’t a lot of rhythm,” Sinner said. “It was difficult to play because it was also a bit windy. As I said, I can be satisfied for the first lap, I’m looking forward to the next lap and above all I’m trying to recover as best as possible.
“For me it’s very important to play the best of five sets because I really like it. Like today, it can take a long time, but I just enjoy staying on the pitch… Coming back to New York is always very special. It was the first Grand Slam I qualified for, so it’s a very special place for me.”
Lorenzo Musetti was the second Italian to claim a five-set win on Tuesday as he recovered from a deep hole in the final set’s tiebreak to defeat David Gofin 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9). That Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals The challenger trailed 4/7 in the first through 10 tiebreaks, but two brave drop shots helped him fight his way back into the decider.
At 9/9, at the end of an extended rally, Musetti redirected play with a drawn down-the-line backhand winner to score his second match point, which he converted when an exhausted Goffin hit a forehand, after which the 20 – year-old collapsed on the square to celebrate.
veteran Fabio Fognini completed a hat-trick of Italian five-set wins as he recovered from two sets to loss Aslan Karatsev 1-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. The 35-year-old will play against the winner of the second seed Rafael Nadal and Australian wild card Rinky Hijikata. In 2015 at Flushing Meadows, Fognini came from two sets down to stun Nadal in five sets in the third round.
Croatian also needed five sets on Tuesday to progress Borna Korika 6-2, 7-6(5), 3-6, 4-6, 7-5 winner of the French qualifier Enzo Couacaudwho was broken when he served to the match in the 10th game of the last set.