Italian teen Jannik Sinner rallied past Spanish seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut at the Miami Open to book a meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in the biggest final of his young career.The 19-year-old raised his game from that moment to become just the fourth teenager to reach the Miami championship match in the tournament’s 36-year history. Only past and present World No. 1s Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had previously achieved the feat.
Sinner struggled to match Bautista Agut’s consistency from the baseline in the opening set, and the 17 unforced errors he committed on his forehand cost him two service breaks. In the second set, Sinner reduced his forehand error count to seven and began to find his range on his backhand side. The Italian held his nerve to save four break points in a crucial 3-3 game and he dictated with his forehand to break serve at 5-4 and take the match to a third set.
Bautista Agut directed his groundstrokes up the line to rush Sinner and break to love early in the decider, but the Italian stepped inside the court and ripped his groundstrokes to quickly get back on serve. As he did late in the second set, Sinner pounced at 5-4 and converted his first match point with a cross-court backhand winner, his third winner from that wing in the game.
Sinner, who reached last year’s French Open quarter-finals, defeated Bautista 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to become only the fourth teen to reach the men’s final in the 36-year history of the ATP Miami Masters.Poland’s Hurkacz, seeded 26th, won his second straight match over a top 10 player, beating Russian fourth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4.Coming off a quarter-final win over second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, Hurkacz became the first player to take a set off Rublev at the tournament. It’s the first time he has earned two top 10 wins in the same tournament.
Sinner, 19 and playing only his third Masters 1000, joined 1990 champion Andre Agassi, 2005 runner-up Rafael Nadal and 2007 winner Novak Djokovic as Miami teen finalists.Sinner took his eighth career triumph over a top-20 rival and ensured he will rise into the ATP’s top 25 next week, although he nearly smashed a racquet in a tense second set.Hurkacz, who already has one victory this season in Delray Beach in January, advanced to the first Masters 1000 final of his career.