It is difficult to know if this Saturday, we were talking more about the upcoming final of the Italian prodigy or about the draw of the first round of the Australian Open that will oppose Jannik Sinner to Denis Shapovalov, for a clash that could be in the years to come a Grand Slam final. In the meantime, failing to have the right to a French-French duel at the Great Ocean Road Open, the final will oppose two Italians, a first since 1988. Confirming the tremendous revival and momentum of transalpine tennis. After a fight of more than three hours against Karen Khachanov, the 19-year-old Italian managed to win a ticket for his second career final after his title in Sofia last November (not forgetting the Next Gen 2019). In a match where both players showed a very nice face, proposing a forward looking game, it was once again Sinner who raised his level of play in the key moments while the match was played on a few details (7-6, 4-6, 7-6). However, it should be noted that Sinner could have folded the match in two sets if he had managed to keep his 4-3 stake in the second set with a break in the lead. In any case, with two new tie-breaks won for him (bringing his ratio to 4/4 this week) and a match point saved, the young Italian proves that he doesn't play with restraint in decisive moments. Behind the first two controlled laps against Vukic (6-2, 6-4) and Bedene (7-6, 6-2), Sinner had been pushed into his corner by Miomir Kecmanovic, who made a very nice defence from his back line to force him to play the extra shot. Once again, the Italian relied on his favourite combination of serve and forehand to get out of the trap set by the Serb (7-6, 6-4). For this final, he will therefore be opposed to his compatriot Stefano Travaglia, who wasn't necessarily expected there on hard outside (generally more comfortable on clay), but who wasn't complicated by his outsider status to bring down the seeded riders. After a complicated victory against Carballes Baena in the first round (2-6, 7-5, 7-6), he eliminated Sam Querrey by being uncompromising on his serve (14 aces and 93% of points gained behind his first one). He then took advantage of a not really concerned Bublik (6-1, 7-5) to challenge the seeded n°3 Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals. In a once again very tough match, it was the Italian who had the last word to turn the situation around (3-6, 6-3, 7-5). In his first four matches, Travaglia has thus conceded three times in the first set and managed to take the victory behind, proof of the mental strength of the 71st in the world. Facing Thiago Monteiro in the semi-final, he showed once again a very nice face with an offensive style of play to win, at 29 years old, his first final in his career. Proof of his aggressiveness in return? Travaglia managed to break the Brazilian three times, who had only conceded the ball in play twice since the beginning of the tournament. In terms of physical fitness, the 3-hour semi-final between Sinner and Khachanov helped to balance out the debates somewhat, while Travaglia, for his part, has played three matches in three sets this week, as well as one match more than his opponent. In total, Sinner spent 7h42 on the courts against 9h22 for Travaglia. A factor that can be taken into account given the sequence of matches this week and the particular conditions that the players are currently experiencing. Logically enough, Jannik Sinner is an ultra favourite for bookmakers with an 80% chance of winning. Even if the young Italian is a notch or even two above his compatriot in terms of level of play, Sinner's odds (around 1.25) are of no interest. It is obviously he who will have the keys to this final in the racket. If he maintains such a high level of play, especially in the important moments, and if he holds the shock physically he should come out the winner of this final, even if Travaglia will do everything possible to make it difficult for him. A long-distance fight won't benefit Travaglia, who will have a hard time keeping up with a hitter like Sinner. The eye of Julien Varlet: In the semi-final, Jannik Sinner put out a great match to eliminate Khachanov, in the line of his previous matches. He is a player who impresses me with his maturity and mastery even though he is not yet 20 years old. Travaglia is a player who plays really well, but this is his first big tournament and the first time he has reached a final. He has had a very good week, but his compatriot is still one notch above and he might be a bit tense at the stakes. Even if he has just played a 3-hour match against Khachanov, I think that Sinner will be physically ready since we are at the beginning of the season and the players are just coming out of a ground preparation. And then we mustn't forget that he played one match less than his opponent. Facing Travaglia, he will be opposed to a player who is not really going to make the game, so he will have the opportunity to be in his line of work. I find him very loose with loose shots on the forehand or backhand side, he serves very well and I don't think Travaglia will really come and attack him and make him 2-3 winning shots per game to make him explode. He's also not afraid to take the game into his own hands and attack in the important moments as we've seen in the tie-breaks he's played and in the key moments of the sets for example. I think he is really superior to his opponent so I will bet on a 2-0 Sinner.
⭐️⭐⭐️ Victoire Sinner ⭐️⭐️ --- ⭐️ Victoire Sinner 2-0
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