This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Jannik Sinner is one of the most beloved members of the quality new wave of Italian players and his arrival in Rome has been welcomed by a great deal of interest from media and fans. The 19 year old looked relaxed, despite the obvious pressure of playing a home tournament, but the joy of being in Rome overweighted the mountain expectations for the rising start from South Tyrol.
“Rome is a special tournament for us Italians, it’s like being home. It is a shame that there won’t be any public during the early rounds”, admitted the 19-year-old: who had made his debut at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia two seasons ago when he was tanked 262 in the world: “but it is very nice to be here again. I believe it is one of the best events we attend during the year and I love the conditions too”.
Coming now as a world top 20 player, Sinner is quite an atypical Italian, with his game being mostly suitable for faster surfaces, yet, he is confident about the work he is doing with coach Riccardo Piatti to adapt to clay.
“Obviously, when you start playing on it after a long time on hard courts, adaptation is the most important thing. But now, after a number of weeks on it, I feel like I can take different decisions on court. I most certainly still need to learn and improve many things, but I feel like I can play well on clay. On the other hand, on grass I haven’t played more than 3-4 matches in my life, so I still have to understand everything about it…”.
And there is no rush for Sinner, who is yet to celebrate his 20th birthday.
“The past few weeks have been quite positive for me: from Miami to the start of the clay swing. I played quite well in Monte Carlo and that gave me the confidence for Barcelona, where I played some very good matches. Considering that those were all first times playing these events, it is a great deal of experiences I am taking in. My goal is to improve on a day to day basis and I have to admit I have a formidable team around me”.
“We are working a lot on my serve”, explained the Italian on where the focus of the work is at the moment: “it is not something that you can see improving from a week to the next one, but the serve is fundamental in the type of game I want to play”.
Despite the positive attitude, the draw has not been kind to Sinner, who could be playing against Rafael Nadal in the second round.
“Sure, but first I need to play against (Hugo) Humbert and it is not a given that I will win”, he said: “He is a lefty and his game troubles me. Indeed, he defeated me at the Next Gen ATP Finals. So my focus is obviously on this match before I can think of Nadal”.
In the case he would advance and face ‘Rafa’, Sinner will step on court confident of his chances, despite admitting that there is an aura around the Fab 3: “Nole and Rafa have something different from all others, but I feel like the likes of Tsitsipas, Zverev and Thiem are coming together with other youngsters. Thanks to this, sometimes draws open up, like it happened to me in Miami, and you have to be able to capitalize. All in all, I think the young generation is closing the gap with the top players and I believe this is great for the show as you don’t see always the same ones winning!”.