Making his Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell debut, Jannik Sinner made quick work of Egor Gerasimov on Tuesday. In one hour and eight minutes, the 19-year-old advanced 6-3, 6-2 to set up a second-round match with Roberto Bausta Agut.
In his first meeting with Gerasimov, Sinner defended well on his backhand side to set up his forehand with a wide stance and loose swing: six of his seven winners in the first set came off his forehand, and he would hit 21 winners to Gerasimov’s seven.
Though in his post-match interview the Italian said he wasn’t that happy or comfortable with his performance, he still sprinkled in a few excellent drop shots to pull Gerasimov off the baseline.
The World No. 77 struggled with his serve, particularly in the second set, and would commit his seventh double fault on Sinner’s first match point.
Sinner comes into this week’s ATP 500 with a career-high ranking of World No. 19, marking his first time inside of the Top 20. He’s the first Italian teen to crack the Top 20 in the history of the FedEx ATP Rankings after reaching the final of the Miami Open presented by Itau and then winning a round in Monte-Carlo last week.
“Obviously it’s a good number, but for me at the moment [it’s] not that important,” Sinner said. “Just trying to improve day after day with my team and trying to improve as a player and the ranking is what it is. I’m happy to be [a] Top 20 player but the road is long so [there’s] a lot of work to do.”
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Earlier on Tuesday, Bautista Agut eased past Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-0. The World No. 11 broke his Spanish compatriot on five occasions. Sinner leads their ATP Head2Head series 2-0.
“He’s an unbelievable player. He’s very consistent,” Sinner said. “He lost in Dubai against me, he lost in Miami against me, now we play once more here, so it’s quite a small period of time. We’re playing now our third match already, so it’s going to be a very tough match. He is very, very solid. I never played against him on clay. I’m trying to be ready in the best possible way.”