Jannik sinner is one of the brightest young talents of recent memory. The Italian, who turned 21 last month, has already won the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finalscompeted in the Nitto ATP Finalswon six tour-level trophies and cracked the top 10 on the Pepperstone ATP rankings.
However, do not tell him about his achievements. According to Sinner, this is just the beginning, which is a scary thought for his colleagues on the ATP Tour.
“I already know what I have in my game so I’m trying to stay confident but also humble because at the end of the day I haven’t basically won anything or certainly not won any important games,” Sinner told ATPTour.com . “It’s all part of the process. I don’t want to rush into it, but I think I can be proud of what I do, so hopefully I’ll keep going.”
For Sinner, it’s not about rushing to win a specific trophy or defeat a specific opponent. From a young age he had great ambitions. He plays on Wednesday Carlo Alcaraz in which US Open quarter finals. But just three years ago he was a qualifier, speaking to the media in a small booth in Flushing Meadows’ media center.
“I don’t just want to be the best player in Italy,” said Sinner that day. “But maybe I can say for once that I’m the best player in the world.”
Jannik Sinner” />
sinner steps in US Open Qualification 2019 at the age of 18.
Sinner did not expect this to happen overnight. In fact, he constantly talks about the “long road” of his career and that there is always something to improve. A native of San Candido, after matches, even long, grueling battles, he often heads to the practice ground to make even the smallest refinement in order to get closer to his ultimate potential.
This mentality stems from Sinner’s childhood.
“I’ve always had that because my parents gave me that kind of mentality, so I have it with me. I’m proud to have that kind of mentality,” Sinner said. “I like the way my mum and dad are, so I want to be very like them. I think my brother is pretty much the same too. I think I always had it.”
Sinner’s father Johann is head chef at the Talschlusshütte restaurant in Sexten in the Fischlein Valley, right on the Austrian border in north-eastern Italy. His mother Siglinde was a waitress in the same restaurant.
“Now that we also have some apartments at home, my mum helps with cleaning the apartments and everything because the apartments are in the same house as my grandma and grandpa. They’re getting a little bit older, so now she’s helping them,” Sinner said. “Sometimes I remember helping my mom, grandma and grandpa clean the apartments. Saturday was usually the day people came and went, so I was there to help them out a bit.”
The restaurant was about a 45 minute walk from Sinner’s house. He remembers doing this hike to see his parents in action.
“I always liked to pick up my father at the restaurant where he works,” said Sinner. “Then I can see a bit how he cooks and how he works. It’s funny.”
Ironically, Sinner drew an analogy comparing his budding career to that of an aspiring chef. In 2020 he stood in front of the kitchen. Last year he peeled vegetables. The Italian has seen progress in 222.
“It will definitely be a bit bigger,” said Sinner about the “salad” that is his game. “I know I can add a little more, but when you have more, you have more options, so it can be good, but sometimes it can also be a bit difficult because sometimes you have more ingredients to choose from.
“Sometimes you just don’t let yourself be distracted [you can feel] a bit of a mess in your head about what to play. That happened to me sometimes. But I think the lettuce is growing and that’s the most important thing.”
Sinner will play in front of his home fans in Turin in 2021.
Sinner wasn’t afraid to make any changes he felt necessary to further add to this salad. In February, he announced the end of his long-standing partnership Riccardo Piatti, widely regarded as one of the finest coaches in the sport. Sinner recently engaged the Italian Simone Vignozzi Darren Cahillthe former coach of Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt.
“When you change everything, it’s a little bit different. It’s a different way of working. It was something new. I still had to get used to it a bit, but now I’m getting used to it,” said Sinner. “I know Darren well, I know Simone well and also Umberto and Jerome. It’s a good feeling because I know their personalities a lot better and they know me better and how I feel better every day. I think it’s good, but it certainly wasn’t easy at the beginning.”
It wasn’t until July that Sinner survived the quarterfinals of a tournament. But he did far more in Umag, where he clinched the title with two dominant final sets against Alcaraz in the league match.
Sinner is currently 14th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin while attempting to enter the competition Nitto ATP Finals for the second consecutive year, after the exchange Matteo Berretini as a substitute in 2021. A win over Alcaraz will see him up to ninth place.
“The year is still young. It’s still a long time. If I want to go there, I definitely have to play well from now on. But I know that. I’ll do my best to do that,” Sinner said. “This year it is not one of the main goals. It’s more about improving everything and then we’ll see how I develop over the next few months.”
It was always about the “process” for Sinner, and in three years that has propelled him from unknown to star. Why stop now?
“I think it’s just [about] work hard and believe. That’s all I can say. Especially during the tough times… and maybe when you’re having a tough loss or [something], the day after you go to the court and practice. I think those are the things that make the difference sometimes,” Sinner said. “I go out on the court because I love playing tennis. It’s not because I have to play. I’m going because I really like playing tennis.”