'Simply wild': Tennis world stunned by never-before-seen moment

Jannik Sinner, pictured here after becoming the youngest ATP 500 champion.
The moment Jannik Sinner became the youngest ATP 500 champion. Image: Tennis TV/Getty

Jannik Sinner has stunned the tennis world after becoming the youngest player and first teenager to win an ATP 500 title.

The young Italian beat Mackenzie McDonald in three tight sets to secure the Citi Open title in Washington on Sunday.

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Sinner, who turns 20 on August 16, needed almost three hours to close out a 7-5 4-6 7-5 win for his third ATP Tour trophy and second this year.

Teenagers had been 0-5 in ATP 500 finals since the category was created in 2009.

Sinner became the youngest ATP 500-level champion in 146 events, breaking the mark 20-year-old Alexander Zverev set at Washington in 2017.

He became the third-youngest Washington champion after 18-year-old Andy Roddick in 2001 and 19-year-old Juan Martin del Potro in 2008.

Sinner, who made the last eight at the 2020 French Open, was the first Italian finalist in the US capital event's 52-year history.

The 19-year-old will jump to a career-high 15th in Monday's rankings, while McDonald will rise to 64th.

The tennis world erupted over Sinner's incredible slice of history.

Jannik Sinner overcomes final set jitters to prevail

Sinner broke for a 2-0 edge in the deciding set when McDonald netted a backhand volley, and later saved three break points to hold for a 4-1 lead.

The Italian held again to go up 5-2 on a service winner, then dropped two match points in the eighth game and made four unforced errors in the ninth, allowing McDonald to break back and hold to reach 5-5.

Sinner held at love on his ninth ace and broke to claim the match after two hours and 53 minutes when McDonald netted a backhand.

Jannik Sinner, pictured here with the trophy after winning the Citi Open in Washington.
Jannik Sinner celebrates with the trophy after winning the Citi Open in Washington. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Sinner, broken only three times in his first four matches, was broken three times in the first two sets by the 26-year-old American.

He broke on an overhead smash for a 3-1 lead, then saved three break points in the next game before McDonald ripped a forehand down the line winner to break back to 3-2.

After breaking at love in the sixth game, Sinner served for the set in the ninth game, but McDonald broke again on a forehand winner.

McDonald saved six break points in a tense 10-minute 10th game before holding to pull level.

Sinner held at love to 6-5 and broke again in the 12th game, although McDonald denied him on break points with two aces up the middle, a service winner and a forehand winner before netting a backhand to finally surrender the set.

In the second set, McDonald saved two break points to hold for 3-3, then broke when Sinner netted a backhand and held twice to force a third.

with agencies

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