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Tennis-Sinner shrugs off slow start to reach last 16

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LONDON (Reuters) -Last year’s quarter-finalist Jannik Sinner recovered from a slow start to outclass unseeded Frenchman Quentin Halys 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 on Friday and move into the Wimbledon fourth round.

Sinner became only the third Italian man to make the last 16 at Wimbledon on multiple occasions after Nicola Pietrangeli and Matteo Berrettini, but the 21-year-old was tested by Halys who landed the first blow and went 2-0 up in the second set.

“For sure I didn’t start in the best possible way,” said Sinner, who has lost only one set in his three matches. “It’s never easy playing against a player who you’ve never played against so it was something new for me.”

Halys, who entered the Championships without playing a warm-up tournament on grass, pounced on the eighth seed in the first set and surged into a 4-1 lead before taking the early advantage on the back of solid serving.

Sinner responded almost immediately, however, with a break in the second set and forced world number 79 Halys, who sported heavy strapping on his thigh and calf, to work hard during points with deft shots at the net.

The slender Italian, who has reached the quarter-finals of all the four Grand Slams, comfortably drew level at a set apiece and barely put a foot wrong to cruise through the next in 29 minutes.

The duo traded breaks early in the fourth set before Sinner regained focus to seal victory and he will next play Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan or Swede Mikael Ymer.

“The best thing when you lose early at Roland Garros is you have a lot of time to prepare on grass,” said Sinner, who fell in the second round of the French Open last month.

“This was the case of my journey until here this year but for sure every match has its story. Today I didn’t feel great on the court but I tried to have the right mindset and the right mentality in the tough moments.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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