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French Open 2024: Jannik Sinner reaches Roland Garros semi-final for first time; Secures world number 1 rank

Jannik Sinner powered past Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to reach his maiden French Open semi-final, a victory coinciding with his elevation to the world number one ranking after Novak Djokovic's withdrawal.

Tennis French Open 2024: Jannik Sinner reaches Roland Garros semi-final for first time; Secures World number 1 spot osf
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First Published Jun 5, 2024, 4:57 AM IST

Jannik Sinner advanced to his first French Open semi-final by defeating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets on Tuesday, a victory that coincided with him securing the world number one ranking. The Australian Open champion will assume the top spot next week following Novak Djokovic's withdrawal from the tournament. Sinner's 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) win sets up a potential semi-final clash with Carlos Alcaraz or Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Reflecting on the achievement, the 22-year-old remarked, "It's every player's dream to become number one in the world. On the other hand, seeing Novak retiring (from the tournament) is disappointing, so I wish him a speedy recovery."

Sinner's journey to the top ranking was confirmed during his match, as Djokovic's injury-enforced withdrawal was announced. He has had a stellar season, winning the Australian Open, Rotterdam Open, and Miami Open, in addition to his maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne.

"I'm trying not to think about it too much as this has been a tournament I've struggled in the last couple of years so I'm very happy to be in the semi-finals," Sinner added. "It's a special moment for me... for people watching in Italy. Let's see on Friday what I can do."

His rise to the top of the ATP rankings continues Italy's golden era in men's tennis, with nine Italian players currently ranked in the world's top 100. Matteo Berrettini's success, reaching the Wimbledon final in 2021, has also contributed to this resurgence.

"I think it's great for Italy. We are a great country with great coaches and players, and we can see this now how this moment is," said Sinner. "I'm happy to be part of this Italian movement."

Sinner's 33-2 win-loss record this year is remarkable, with his only defeats coming against Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semi-finals and Tsitsipas in the Monte Carlo last four.

To reach his second successive major final, Sinner will face the winner between Alcaraz and Tsitsipas, both formidable opponents with whom he has a competitive history.

Dimitrov, the Bulgarian 10th seed, made his first quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros on his 14th attempt but was outplayed by Sinner, who broke twice in the opening set and dominated behind his serve.

Sinner's path to the semi-finals was highlighted by his resilience in the third set, securing a tie-break victory to cap off a memorable day for himself and Italian tennis.

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