Young guns Rune and Sinner primed for Montpellier showdown

By Sports Desk February 10, 2023

Open Sud de France top seed Holger Rune stayed on course to make the final in Montpellier after a straight-sets defeat of Gregoire Barrere.

Last year's Paris Masters champion Rune, who is in the hunt for his first title of the season, beat the Frenchman 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) and is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

The 19-year-old looks sharp, but so too does Jannik Sinner. Two years Rune's senior, the Italian made light work of his good friend and compatriot Lorenzo Sonego on Friday.

Sinner took just over 90 minutes to triumph 6-4 6-2 and tee up a semi-final with history-making 18-year-old Arthur Fils.

Fils, the world number 163, beat Quentin Halys to become the youngest Frenchman to reach a tour-level semi-final since Richard Gasquet in 2004.

"I have seen him [Fils] play here at this tournament," Sinner said of Fils, as quoted by the ATP Tour's official website.

"He is very strong physically already. He understands the game very well. He started off the year very well, so it is going to be an interesting match for sure."

Sinner will be the favourite despite Fils' hot streak, while Rune will go up against Maxime Cressy in a rematch of their Australian Open second-round match.

Cressy went down 7-5 6-4 6-4 in that meeting in Melbourne last month, though has the chance for revenge after seeing off Borna Coric 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

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