Tennis: Italian Jannik Sinner to emulate Roger Federer
At 19 years-old Jannik Sinner has numbers of crazy precocity. The Italian entered the record book in front of a tennis legend like Roger Federer. It was in fact on February 4th 2001 when a very young Roger won his first title in a hard-fought match against Frenchman Julien Boutter with the result of 6-4 6-7 (7) 6-4.
On that occasion there was a few days left and Federer turned exactly 19 years and 6 months and Jannik was even faster than the Swiss Maestro Different story for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who were even faster than Sinner.
Jannik Sinner has been the young gun to watch in the men’s tennis in the previous two seasons! Kicking off the 2019 season from outside the top-500, Jannik stormed over the lower-ranked rivals to crack the top-100 in November, earning a perfect starting position ahead of 2020.
Sinner conquered the first Challenger title on an indoor hard court in Bergamo in February and claimed two more by the end of the season, making a Major debut at the US Open and reaching the first ATP semi-final in Antwerp. Entering the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan with a wild card and as the youngest player in the field, Jannik left more experienced players behind and conquered the title, setting eyes on significant results in 2020. Heading to Roland Garros with six wins from 14 encounters, Sinner found his A-game on his Parisian debut, beating four rivals to advance into the quarter-final as the first player born in 2001 at this level!
Jannik became the first quarter-finalist on Roland Garros debut since Rafael Nadal in 2005, facing the great Spaniard and suffering a 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss after a great effort in sets one and two. Praising the young Italian, Ivan Ljubicic said that his best performance of the year came against Rafa, despite the fact he later grabbed the first ATP trophy in Sofia at the end of the season.
Without doubt, Sinner has clean and precise geometries, a fast and powerful tennis, modern, but also capable of breaking the rhythm of the opponent. A good dose of physique (being structured), talent and mental strength. An incredible aspect for a young tennis player, especially for what we have seen after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, with the new generation struggling to take the legacy of these champions.
Rivers of words have been spent for all the younger tennis players of recent years: most of all Jannik Sinner seems to have the qualities to be the new star after the Big Three. The Italian looks like one that can handle pressure and tension.
His words after the triumph in Sofia are emblematic: “It is always special when a tennis player wins a tournament, this week I felt good and it was all special. Playing finals like these, winning 7-6 in the third is always tough.
But then if you win, I think it´s better to win like that rather than 6-1,6-1. I am happy with how the match went, I tried to stay there on every point and it was a special day. I thank the team that supports me on and off the pitch, I am happy to share this success with all of you and with them.
Ivan Ljubicic praised Jannik Sinner’s Roland Garros performance vs. Rafael Nadal where the Spaniard scored six breaks from eight chances and gave serve away twice, completing the match with 37 winners and 33 unforced errors. They both held at love in the opening two service games before Rafa repelled a break point at 2-2 following a loose backhand from the youngster. There were no break chances in the next five games, as Sinner became the first player who took five games from Nadal in a single set this year in Paris!