Jannik Sinner defeated his red-headed mirror image Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6(6) on Friday to book the first semi-final spot at the Barcelona Open.
The 19-year-old Italian cracked the tournament age barrier, becoming the youngest semi-finalist at the Real Club de Tenis since Rafael Nadal got this far in 2005 at age 18, with today’s king of clay going on to win the first of his 11 home titles.
Sinner claimed his first ATP trophy at a February pre-Australian Open event in Melbourne; he finished with 20 winners against Rublev, who leads the Tour this season with 26 match victories,
“I am trying to get better every week,” Sinner said. “I tried to play my tennis. It was difficult to finish it off.
“I’m pleased to win in the end. I’m getting more experience in every tournament I play.”
The pair both sport the same looks, with slight, thin frames and floppy red hair.
Sinner assured his place in a first career clay semi-final with his fourth ace.