Sinner eases past Kokkinakis into Italian Open last 32
Jannick Sinner cruised into the last 32 of the Italian Open on Friday with a straight-sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-1, 6-4.
World number eight Sinner took one hour, 18 minutes to deal with Australian qualifier Kokkinakis, and will play one of Alexander Shevchenko or Sebastian Baez in the next round.
"I'm happy with my level today, it was not easy, it was a little bit breezy, a bit windy," Sinner said on court.
"Especially in the second set he played a little bit better. I also had a couple of chances which I didn't use but very happy about how I served, I struck the ball very well."
Sinner, 21, did not drop a single point on his serve in a dominant first set in which the gulf in class between the Italian and Kokkinakis was painfully evident.
Kokkinakis, ranked 104 in the world, put up more of a fight in the second set but once Sinner broke in the seventh game to take the score to 4-3, it was only a matter of time before the deal was sealed.
Sinner made no mistake, serving to love in games eight and nine to ensure comfortable passage to the next round.
Rome has not seen an Italian winner of the tournament since Adriano Panatta in 1976.
With local boy Matteo Berrettini out of action again with abdominal problems, Sinner will be getting the bulk of the capital city's support.
"It is a very special feeling especially here in Rome," Sinner added.
"You know trying to be an example for the young kids, also spending a little bit of time with them. It's important to show them the love."
Sinner has had a decent season, winning in Montpellier in February and losing the finals in Miami and Rotterdam to Daniil Medvedev.
He also reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells, losing to eventual winner Carlos Alcaraz.
Cameron Norrie strolled past French qualifier Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-3 to set up a clash with Marton Fucsovics or Alex de Minaur in the next round.
Muller had won his first ever main draw match in a Masters tournament in the first round, beating another Briton in Kyle Edmund, and was no match for World number 13 Norrie.