PARIS (Reuters) – World number 12 Jannik Sinner battled back from a set down to subdue Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in a punishing battle of the baseliners on Thursday and move into the French Open third round.
The Italian 20-year-old, seeded 11th, took a long time to settle down with 19 unforced errors in the first set and the Spanish claycourt specialist quickly ran away with it.
Sinner upped his game to break his opponent, ranked 89th in the world, and move 5-4 up in the second but had to battle from 0-40 to hold serve and level the match.
Another break midway through the third set gave him a two-game cushion and Sinner bagged the set when his opponent sank a forehand into the net.
In a fierce baseline battle lasting almost four hours, the pair traded early breaks in the fourth set but Sinner got another to go 4-2 up.
Carballes Baena, who reached the third round in Paris two years ago with five-set five-hour win over Denis Shapovalov, finally surrendered when he sent a backhand long on the Italian’s first match point.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)