Eighth seed Jannik Sinner broke new ground at Wimbledon on Tuesday as the Italian powered into the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over big-hitting Russian Roman Safiullin.
The 21-year-old has made the most of a favourable draw at the grass-court major this year and became the first man to reach the final four without taking on a top 50 opponent since both Boris Becker and Pete Sampras did so in 1995.
The win also meant Sinner became only the third Italian man to make the Wimbledon semis after Nicola Pietrangeli and Matteo Berrettini but he had to overcome a wobble against the inspired Safiullin midway through the contest.
After a high-octane start by both players under the roof on a sometimes slippery Court One, Sinner broke for a 5-4 lead with a barrage of big shots from the baseline and comfortably held serve in the next game to go a set up on Safiullin.
World number 92 Safiullin did not let his optimism dip after surrendering his serve early in the second set and the Wimbledon debutant reeled off five games in a row from 1-3 down to draw level in the match.
The slightly-built Sinner continued to exhibit superb ball-striking en route to winning the next set in 34 minutes and the contest was effectively over after he broke for a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, which he won when Safiullin sent a shot wide.
Up next for Sinner is a meeting with holder Novak Djokovic or seventh seed Andrey Rublev.
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