Jannik Sinner ATP US Open 2021

How can Jannik Sinner can become first alternate ever to qualify for ATP Finals semi-finals?

After defeating Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets on his ATP Finals debut, Jannik Sinner has the chance to qualify for the last four.

The 20-year-old Italian made a dream start in front of his home fans, defeating the Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2.

As a result, Sinner could become the first alternate to qualify for the ATP Finals knockout stage in the history of the event.

If Hurkacz is able to defeat Alexander Zverev for his first ever ATP Finals victory, that opens the door for Sinner.

That result would leave Zverev and Hurkacz each with a 1-2 record in their group. Sinner would then need to defeat Daniil Medvedev to secure a 2-0 record and qualify second behind the Russian.

Former world number four and 1997 US Open finalist Greg Rusedski came close to achieving the feat back in 1998.

There, the Brit won both his matches after being called up to the event to replace Andre Agassi.

However, he failed to reach the semi-finals as two others in his group had two wins as well, going through on matches played.

Hurkacz and Zverev have met just once before, the latter winning in three sets at the Madrid Masters in 2019.

That match was played on a totally different surface, being outdoor clay compared to indoor hard courts in Turin.

It was at altitude though, a factor that could once again come into play in Turin.

Sinner and Medvedev have played each other twice, both times at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille, in 2020 and 2021.

Medvedev won on both occasions, first in three sets in 2020 then in straight sets this year.

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