Jannik Sinner tops Grigor Dimitrov for Miami Open title

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(AP) — Jannik Sinner’s strong 2024 continued as he won the Miami Open with 6-3, 6-1 victory over 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.

In a flawless display on a 79-degree afternoon, Sinner, the 2024 Australian Open champion, moved to 22-1 on the year in winning the Miami Open for the first time. Sinner had been runner-up twice in 2021 and 2023.

In his second straight Miami Open finals appearance (Sinner lost last year to Daniil Medvedev), the 22-year-old played with an abundance of confidence despite the crowd cheering on the underdog from Bulgaria. Sinner ended it in 1 hour, 13 minutes with a backhand winner.

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Sinner dropped just seven games combined in the semifinals and finals.

“This was my third time in the final and I figured this would be the lucky one,″ Sinner said. “I’m really happy I can hold the big trophy.″

Chants of “Gri-gor’’ resounded the entire match inside the home stadium of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Dimitrov had created a buzz this week with upsets of top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals and No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

“I felt like a rock star these days,’’ Dimitrov said.

Dimitrov, 10 years older than Sinner at 32, will climb into the top 10 rankings for the first time since 2018.

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“Unfortunately, 10 years made a huge difference today,” Dimitrov said. “Clearly it’s Jannik’s week. He’s been playing amazing tennis.”

Sinner also hit a milestone, moving from No. 3 to 2 — highest ranking of his young career and in Italian history.

“It means a lot to me,’’ Sinner said. “More importantly it was a great performance for me. Being No. 2 is an amazing feeling and never thought to be at this point. I come from a very normal family and my dad is still working and my mom too.’’

Sinner, who was never broken and faced just one break point, was undeterred by the pro-Dimitrov crowd and could be an early favorite for the upcoming French Open.

The men’s tour swings in April to the clay-court season in Europe finished off by the French at Roland Garros which begins on May 20.

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