ATLANTA, July 29, 2021 – At the Atlanta Open, the No. 2 seed, Jannik Sinner was making his Atlanta debut in the Day Session. Sinner’s stay in singles in Atlanta wouldn’t last long.
After Milos Raonic’s defeat last night, the 19-year-old Italian was the highest seeded player left. His opponent, Australian Christopher O’Connell, played his way into the main draw through qualifiers. Despite winning just three main draw matches all season, O’Connell held serve the entire first set and challenged the talented Italian. In a tiebreaker for the set, O’Connell fought off two set points. The first was with a massive 110 mph serve and the second was a huge forehand passing shot after Sinner rushed to the net. O’Connell won the tiebreaker 9-7 and took the first set.
The Australian rode this momentum and easily broke Sinner’s serve in the opening service game of the second set. Both players then held for the rest of the match while the Italian struggled to get comfortable around the court. O’Connell sports a one-handed back hand that he dominated with in his service games. At 5-4, O’Connell served for the match and gained a 40-15 advantage. Sinner saved both match points with a forehand winner and a long rally win. However, O’Connell then won consecutive points at deuce and clinched the second set. He wins with a score of 7-6 (7) 6-4. Fans who would like to see the promising Italian Jannik Sinner still have opportunities as he remains in the doubles draw playing with Riley Opelka. Christopher O’Connell moves on to the quarterfinals.
The third match of the day on another warm afternoon in Atlanta would feature the young and upcoming Finn Emil Ruusovori vs the flashy Frenchman Benoit Paire. Both players came out of the gate very steady from the back leading to some long and grinding points to keep both deadlocked in the set. It wouldn’t be until the ninth game of the match where it would be Paire who would earn the first break of the match. After some dazzling drop shots and serves it would be the man from France who would win the first set 6-4.
The second set would continue to be another tight contest between the two. Both players were on the hunt to gain the edge with most games going to 30 all or long deuces. After fighting off the attacks from Paire, the Scandanavian would dig in and battle to break up 5-4 to win the second set by a score of 6-4. As the match went on both players were beginning to feel the heat with a slow pace of play and towels after every point. To open the third, Ruusovori would get a break to go up 3-0. After citing an illness, Paire unfortunately had to retire in the fourth game to put a sad ending to what had been a great contest. Ruusovori has booked his spot in the quarterfinals.
In the evening session it was an all-American bout between John Isner and Jack Sock. Isner winning the set 7-6 (8).
The second set picked up where the first left off. Both Isner and sock refusing to give an inch. But, After 21 games, unforced errors by sock helped Isner get the first break of the match. That would ultimately be the deciding factor as Isner would hold the very next game to take the set and the match 7-6(8) 6-4.
Isner will now face Christopher O’Connell in the quarterfinals and looks poised to make a run at his sixth Atlanta Open title.
TRUIST ATLANTA OPEN – ATLANTA, GA, USA
26 JULY – 1 AUGUST 2021
RESULTS – JULY 29, 2021
[Q] C. O’Connell (AUS) d  J. Sinner (ITA) 76(7) 64
 C. Norrie (GBR) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 61 64
 J. Isner (USA) d [WC] J. Sock (USA) 76(6) 64
E. Ruusuvuori (FIN) d  B. Paire (FRA) 46 64 30 Retired
A. Popyrin (AUS) / M. Reid (AUS) d  L. Bambridge (GBR) / K. Skupski (GBR) 36 64 10-6
M. Arevalo (ESA) / M. Reyes-Varela (MEX) d  M. Ebden (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) 63 36 11-9
R. Opelka (USA) / J. Sinner (ITA) d T. Huey (PHI) / B. Paire (FRA) 76(4) 64
ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2021
STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon
[SE] B. Nakashima (USA) vs J. Thompson (AUS)
Not Before 1:30 pm
 T. Fritz (USA) vs  R. Opelka (USA)
 C. Norrie (GBR) vs E. Ruusuvuori (FIN)
Not Before 8:00 pm
 J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] C. O’Connell (AUS)
Not Before 9:00 pm
[WC] N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) vs S. Johnson (USA) / J. Thompson (AUS)