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Sinner beats Dimitrov to reach French Open semi-finals

Jannik Sinner continued his pursuit of a second Grand Slam in 2024 by comfortably beating Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-finals of the French Open.

The Australian Open winner beat the Bulgarian 10th seed 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in Paris.

Italian second seed Sinner had never gone further than the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros but looked in total control on Tuesday.

Sinner will face Spanish third seed Carlos Alcaraz or Greek ninth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who play later on Tuesday, in the last four.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the tournament through injury places Sinner firmly among the favourites to win the title.

It also means the 22-year-old will become the first Italian to be world number one when the latest rankings are released next week.

“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,” said Sinner.

On a blustery Court Philippe Chatrier, Sinner appeared focused, making just his second quarter-final appearance at the clay-court Grand Slam.

Having secured his first major title in Melbourne earlier this year, Sinner added titles in Rotterdam and Miami, where he beat Dimitrov in the final and reached a career-high world ranking of second.

This was a first quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros for Dimitrov and the 33-year-old, 11 years his opponent’s senior, looked uncomfortable throughout the first set.

He struggled to cope with Sinner’s relentless power, batting the Italian’s forehand away with a weak backhand to concede the first break before saving three break points but relenting on the fourth to go a double break down.

The second set started much the same with Sinner crunching a forehand down the line to steal Dimitrov’s serve in the opening game and that was all he needed to eventually take a two-set lead.

Dimitrov managed to avoid another disastrous start in the third set, fending off break point to hold from deuce.

Words of encouragement continued to shower down from his coaches but Sinner showed why he will soon be the highest-ranked player in the world by capitalising on a poor service game from the Bulgarian at 4-4 to break and have the chance to serve for the match.

Dimitrov picked that moment to switch it on, immediately breaking back and forcing a tie-break, but his late surge was to no avail as Sinner steamed ahead to dominate the tie-break and prevent a fourth set.

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