Jannik Sinner marks top 20 debut with impressive win in Barcelona opener, but admits ‘the road is long’

Jannik Sinner celebrates

Teenager Jannik Sinner celebrated his ATP Rankings top 20 breakthrough with a solid win over Egor Gerasimov at the Barcelona Open.

The Italian rose to a career-high of No 19 on Monday with many, including world No 1 Novak Djokovic, believing he is destined for the very top in tennis.

And he marked his achievement with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the second round of the ATP 500 event.

“Obviously it’s a good number, but for me at the moment [it’s] not that important,” Sinner said. “Just trying to improve day after day with my team and trying to improve as a player and the ranking is what it is. Iā€™m happy to be [a] Top 20 player but the road is long so [there’s] a lot of work to do.”

Up next is Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut after the fifth seed beat his compatriot Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-0.

British No 2 Cameron Norrie claimed the scalp of 12th seed Karen Khachanov as he upset the Russian 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to earn a third-round clash against eighth seed David Goffin, who had eliminated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-4.

Meanwhile, seventh seed Denis Shapovalov marked his 2021 clay season debut with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Jeremy Chardy.

The Canadian will face either compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime or Italian wildcard Lorenzo Musetti for a place in the quarter-final.

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