US Open to host temporary hospital & Federer back in action31 March 2020 / Miguel Coelho
What's been happening in Tennis during the last few days?
Tennis fans have already memorized this name: Jannik Sinner! He is Italian, 18 years old and seems determined to set records on the professional tennis circuit. He started the year at number 553 and finished season 475 above, finishing the debut year in the top 100 ATP ranking. Along the way, the young Italian, who seemed destined to be a skier, was conquered his space, breaking some records and convincing those who see his simple and effective tennis combined with an unusual maturity. He closed the year with a brilliant triumph at the Next Gen ATP finals, which caught the attention of all tennis enthusiasts. The question is: what will Sinner bring us in 2020?
From alpine skiing to tennis
Sports genes seem to be well embedded in Jannik Sinner's DNA, but tennis was not always the preferred sport. He was born and lived near the Alps and the option for downhill skiing was natural. In skiing, he won titles in the youth teams and only later tennis became an option. It was at age 13 that he joined the academy of Riccardo Piatti and tennis became the main and unique focus of the Italian boy. Names such as Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet or Ivan Ljubicic had already passed in the academy. The door to success was open…
Meteoric rise and historical records
Sinner opened the year 2019 with a title in the Bergamo challenger, becoming the first player born in 2001 to win a tournament in this category… It was just the beginning of a memorable year: titles in three futures, in two other challengers (Lexington and Ortisei), first qualifying and first victory in an ATP tournament (Hungary), qualifying and first victory in a Masters tournament (Rome), qualifying for a Grand Slam (US Open), and the brilliant title at the Next Gen ATP finals in Milan. In addition, there are still wins over top-50 players (Gael Monfils), the entry into the top-100 ATP ranking (October) and a curious fact that will be hard to see repeated in tennis history: Sinner played at least one tournament in each category in 2019 (ITF M15, ITF M25, Challengers, ATP 250, ATP 500, ATP Masters 1000 and Grand Slam). Not bad for someone who in early 2018 was not ranked!
The magical week in Milan
Sinner's performance over 2019 did not escape the organization of the Next Gen ATP finals. The Italian had a chance to join the seven best young players at season-end tournament in Milan and, at home, Sinner did nothing more than justify the invitation. He won every game, defeated Alex de Minaur in the final (18th ATP ranked player) and broke records: he did not lose a single set in the tournament. Is there a better way to close the year?
Already with 2020 in perspective and knowing about the high expectations that will be created around Sinner's performance, it is public that the Italian will continue to be coached by Riccardo Piatti. The new is that Maria Sharapova will also join the player's portfolio of the historic Italian coach. And it was even from the Russian that Sinner heard one of the most valuable advice for his career. During a training session, the young Italian asked Sharapova about the stance to adopt during the game: better wait for the opponent's mistakes or attack? The Russian did not hesitate to choose the second option and Sinner has been trying to copy the Russian advice. And the truth is that at 18 Sharapova had already a Wimbledon title on his resume.
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