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Cincinnati Masters: Jannik Sinner celebrates 20th birthday with a victory

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Cincinnati: Birthday boy Jannik Sinner turned 20 on Monday and celebrated with a win at the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters.

The young gun was joined in the second round after a delayed rainy start to the week by 34-year-old compatriot Fabio Fognini, giving Italy a powerful start.

Sinner erased memories of a disheartening first-round loss a week ago in Toronto when he went down in his opening match to Australian qualifier James Duckworth.

The youngster ranked 15th came good in Cincinnati as he defeated Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-2, 7-5.

Fognini joined the party 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 over Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in a first-time meeting.

“I gave myself the best present possible,” Sinner said. “I played and won a match on my birthday at a big tournament.”

Dominik Koepfer won an all-German first-rounder with his defeat of Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-3.

In the women’s draw at the joint event, Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova made a singles debut at the Midwest venue as she defeated Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2.

Swiss Jil Teichmann beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea with the loss of just two games.

Former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko advanced past Slovene Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-1.

Also, Stefanos Tsitsipas won’t bother with a COVID-19 vaccine unless tennis officials lay down the law and make it mandatory.

The second seed at the tournament said Monday that were jabs to become a requirement for players, he would go along.

“No one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated,” he said. “At some point I will have to. But so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it.”

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