WASHINGTON (AP) — It felt like Jannik Sinner had the upper hand through almost his entire match against Mackie McDonald.
Finally, after nearly three hours, Sinner could celebrate a victory and a tournament championship.
“When you’re up always with the score and then you cannot close it out, it’s not easy,” Sinner said. “I tried to somehow stay calm and work for my chances.”
Sinner became the first teenager to win an ATP 500 event, beating McDonald 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 to take the Citi Open title Sunday. It was a struggle for the fifth-seeded Sinner. McDonald fought off 10 set points before losing the first set, and Sinner failed to convert two match points while up 5-2 in the third.
McDonald rallied to make it 5-all in the final set, but he ultimately fell short. Sinner finally won when McDonald’s backhand went into the net, and he celebrated by holding up his racquet with one hand and a No. 1 sign with the other.
“I dug as deep as I could,” McDonald said during the on-court ceremony afterward. “Obviously, Jannik is a great young player and he pushed me really hard today, and I think I left it all out there.”
Sinner, who turns 20 on Aug. 16, won his third ATP title and second this year. He was the first Italian finalist in this tournament’s 52-year history, and he became the event’s third-youngest champion, behind 18-year-old Andy Roddick in 2001 and 19-year-old Juan Martin del Potro in 2008.