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Sinner to face de Minaur for Toronto title

Jannik Sinner and Alex de Minaur both dominated opponents in straight sets on Saturday to reach the final of the ATP Toronto Masters.

Sinner, runner-up last spring in Miami, reached his second final of the season at the elite level with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of American Tommy Paul.

De Minaur put an Australian into a Canadian final for the first time since 2001 with his 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The last Aussie to reach the title match here was Patrick Rafter – who had lifted the 1998 trophy.

De Minaur maintained his hardcourt form from last weekend in Los Cabos, where he finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Sinner had to battle in his fourth career Masters semi-final, claiming the opening set in 53 minutes and winning a 46-shot rally to take a 5-2 lead in the second set.

Sinner was broken while serving for victory but recovered a game later for victory on his third match point.

“This was a fight, he was playing great,” the winner said. “This is what I play for – the big matches.

“I know the feeling of a Masters 1000 final. Hopefully I can show my best tennis tomorrow.

“I’m happy with how I reacted to situations on the court. I’m happy to be in the final again. The pressure is something great, it’s positive.”

Sinner leads de Minaur – his doubles partner this week — 4-0 in previous meetings.

World number 18 De Minaur will bid for his eighth career trophy and second this season after winning a wind-swept semi-final over Davidovich Fokina that was littered with service breaks.

The Australian, who knocked out second seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals, said winning could not have been more difficult.

“It was a very tough day, tricky conditions for playing tennis with all of the wind,” he said. 

“From the first point I told myself to stay positive and not expect perfect tennis.

“I showed the level I knew I could – it’s about backing it up day after day.

“My goal is to stay consistent and give myself the chance to play in the deep end of the tournament — go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.”

The 31-minute opening set established the hit-or-miss tone of a contest where eight of nine second-set games were breaks of serve.

De Minaur squeaked out victory with just nine winners and the same number of unforced errors. His opponent was let down by 38 unforced errors.

De Minaur will be playing his fourth final this year (1-2) and the 14th in his career.

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