Jan 22, 2023; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Jannik Sinner of Italy hits a shot against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on day seven of the 2023 Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park. Mandatory Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports
- Unseeded Jannik Sinner and wild card Tallon Griekspoor meet in the Rotterdam semifinals
- It’s the first meeting between the two, with Sinner having the far superior resumé
- The 21-year-old Italian is a heavy favorite; we break down the match and make the call
Jannik Sinner wouldn’t have been disappointed to find wild card Tallon Griekspoor on the other side of the net in the Rotterdam semifinals Saturday (1:30pm ET).
Sinner vs Griekspoor Odds
|Jannik Sinner (ITA)||-4.5 (-125)||-525||O 20.5 (-133)|
|[PR] Tallon Griekspoor (NED)||+4.5 (-120)||+350||U 20.5 (-105)|
Odds as of Feb. 17 at BetMGM
Sinner’s Path in Rotterdam
The draw in Rotterdam was pretty loaded, and so Sinner was unseeded. But that was more a matter of timing.
The 21-year-old was one ranking spot below No. 8 seed Alexander Zverev last week when the draw and seedings were made. But he leaped ahead of both Zverev and No. 7 seed Pablo Carreño Busta with his title in Montpellier the next day.
Jannik Sinner 2023 Montpellier champion 💙pic.twitter.com/6wugI5F9uH
— elena (@secondoelle) February 12, 2023
He’s showing signs, after treading a little water in 2022, that he’s ready to move inside the top 10 for more than the one week in Nov. 21 when he got to his career high of No. 9.
Sinner will already be No. 12 next Monday. And if he wins the tournament, he would move to No. 11 with the next three ranking spots squarely within his sights over the next few weeks.
The Italian is a much bigger favorite in this one than Medvedev is against Dimitrov in Saturday’s other Rotterdam semifinal. Which makes sense.
2023 Wimbledon Odds Tracker
At 12-2 in 2023, Sinner on a Roll
Sinner didn’t drop a set in winning the ATP 250 in Montpellier last week.
He had a great draw – a first-round walkover, and no top-50 opponents. But he still looked dominant doing it.
This week in Rotterdam, he dropped a set to Benjamin Bonzi in his opener. But then he brushed aside No. 1 seed Stefanos Tsitipas (6-4, 6-3). To put that in perspective, Sinner did not face the best version of Tsitsipas – not even close.
And he had an even easier time against 37-year-old Stan Wawrinka (6-1, 6-3 in 1h12, as he punished Wawrinka’s second serve to spectacular effect).
And now, a fairly obscure wild card who, granted, will have great home-court support in his own country. But still, a dream semifinal draw at a 500-level tournament.
Sinner vs Griekspoor Head-to-Head
|21 (Aug. 16, 2001)||Age||26 (July 2, 1996)|
|San Candido, Italy||Birthplace||Haarlem, Netherlands|
|7||Career ATP Singles Titles||1|
|No. 9 (Nov. 1, 2021)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 44 (Aug. 1, 2022)|
|No. 14||Current Ranking||No. 61|
|$6,935,067||Career Prize Money||$1,819,339|
|12-2||2022 Won/Loss Record||10-1|
Griekspoor’s Dream Run at Home
Griekspoor likely didn’t expect to find himself playing on the weekend, just a 45-minute drive away from his hometown of Haarlem.
But he’ll take it.
As a native, Griekspoor has played Rotterdam on a wild card every year since 2016, when he was a teenager ranked No. 586. His gradual ranking progression from year to year at the tournament is a snapshot of a player who has only come into his own in mid-20s.
Three of his six career wins at the ATP 500 level (he’s 6-12 overall) have come in Rotterdam; he’s 0-4 at the Masters 1000 level.
From a career high in August, Griekspoor’s ranking dropped down to No. 95 at the start of 2023. But he kickstarted that comeback with his first career ATP title in Pune, India. He lost just one set there.
Griekspoor’s had a nice road this week: qualifier Mikael Ymer in the first round, a sub-par Alexander Zverev in the second, and fellow Dutch wild card Gijs Brouwer (also 26, but ranked No. 140) in the quarterfinals.
Sinner is different level.
Sinner vs Griekspoor Prediction
Griekspoor is eminently capable. He just doesn’t have the consistent firepower to stay with Sinner in the long rallies the Italian won’t mind playing, as the two meet for the first time.
And he doesn’t have the same point-ending extra gear. Or the experience winning matches in the late stages of tournaments (especially 500 tournaments; this is the first time in his career that he’s won back-to-back matches at any level higher than a 250).
It’s been a great result for him already; he’ll be at a new career high and in the top 40 even if he loses.
Sinner vs Griekspoor Pick: Over 21.5 Games (-115)
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Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.