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Tennis: Sinner downs Travaglia to take Great Ocean Road Open title

(Reuters) – Italian teenager Jannik Sinner beat compatriot Stefano Travaglia 7-6(4) 6-4 in the Great Ocean Road Open final on Sunday, becoming the youngest player to have won two ATP titles since Novak Djokovic in 2006.

The 19-year-old, who won the Sofia Open at the end of last year, came through a marathon contest against Karen Khachanov in the previous round of the Australian Open warm-up and made a slow start to the final, having to wrestle back a break of serve in the opening set before taking it in a tiebreak.

Sinner twice led by a break in the second set but failed to drive home his advantage, allowing Travaglia to stick around in the contest.

But a third break at 4-4 put Sinner in position to serve for the match and he sealed his second career title when Travaglia dumped a forehand into the net.

“Yesterday I had a tough match against Karen, so today I’m very happy with my performance,” he said. “Sometimes you feel a bit tired, and for me that was in the second set.

“But you have to find a solution, which I’ve done today, and for that I’m very proud.”

Sinner opens his Australian Open campaign against 11th seed Denis Shapovalov on Monday and the Italian expects another tight contest.

“It’s going to be a tough match for sure against Denis. It’s going to be an interesting one, we are both very young players, and I’m just excited,” he said.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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