It was far from plain sailing for Jannik Sinner at Roland Garros on Saturday, but the Italian found a way to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros for the third consecutive year.

The Italian overcame American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-3, however, the match was far more testing for Sinner than the score suggests. The 20-year-old struggled with an upper leg injury throughout and was forced to save 10 set points in the second set before he eventually broke McDonald’s resistance and advanced after two hours and 50 minutes.

“I think both of us were not feeling well on the court, but I am very happy to be through and that I found a solution. I am not feeling 100 per cent, that is for sure,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “But I have seen a solution. I served very well today in the important moments and I am very happy I broke him immediately at the start of the third set.”

The World No. 12 started brightly on Court Simonne Mathieu but started to be troubled by his leg when trailing 2-5 in the second set. However, in between regular treatment, he clawed his way back into the set and gained full control of the match as he opened his shoulders and hit out to overpower the 27-year-old, striking 40 winners.

Sinner now leads McDonald 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, having also defeated the American in the Washington final last August.

The five-time tour-level champion has now advanced to the fourth round in all three of his appearances in Paris. Sinner upset Alexander Zverev en route to the quarter-finals in 2020 before he lost to Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Last year he again fell to the 21-time Grand Slam titlist, but in the fourth round.

“I always feel well here in Paris,” Sinner added. “It is very special for me to play here and I hope you [the fans] come out in the next round because I think I need the support. Thank you so much.”

Sinner, who eliminated Bjorn Fratangelo and Roberto Carballes Baena in his opening two matches, will next play Andrey Rublev.

Earlier this season, Sinner reached the quarter-finals at ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo and Rome.