As one of the brightest young talents on the ATP Tour, Jannik Sinner has many people wondering how quickly his journey towards the very top of the tennis world will continue. But don’t count him among the impatient prognosticators.
“I’m not in a rush,” Sinner said. “I just want to improve as much as I can every day.”
The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion is focussed on learning. Although he lost against reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Open 13 Provence, Sinner is not overly disappointed. The Italian knows he has to continue pushing to reach the level of a player like Medvedev, who will climb to a career-high World No. 2 on Monday.
“I think right now he’s the better player than me, honestly. He’s consistent in every single shot: serve, forehand, backhand. It’s not easy playing against him,” Sinner said. “I was not even playing that bad, honestly. It was a good match from my side… Today I’ve seen I have to learn so, so many things. I have a long, long way and I’m looking forward tomorrow already to trying to improve. That’s my main goal of the season: trying to improve.”
Sinner believes that he has plenty to improve, but two things in particular are his serve and net game. Against the best in the world, free points are few and far between, so players need to earn everything. Against Medvedev, the teen only won 57 per cent of his service points.
“I’m not getting so many points on my serve… I have to improve everything, try to move forward to the net, especially my net game I have to improve,” Sinner said. “At 19 or 20 years old, you only can improve. Luckily I have a great team behind me, they know what you have to do, I know what I have to do: wake up every morning and get better.”
When Medvedev was Sinner’s age, he had just cracked the Top 400. What does the Russian believe it will take for his younger colleague to continue his climb?
“Definitely tough practice hours, but I think from what I know from him he’s capable of doing it and already doing it. [It will take] some luck for sure and a lot of consistency. You need to start winning big titles to get higher,” Medvedev said. “The further you climb the [FedEx ATP] Rankings, the more you need to show in these big tournaments and that’s what it takes to be Top 10.
“You can never say 100 per cent who’s going to make it and who is not. He definitely has the game to be at the top, but he’s still very young, so [he has] a lot of time in front of him and let’s see if he manages to do it.”
As Sinner said, he’s not in a rush. The two-time ATP Tour titlist is enjoying the process.
“It takes time, it takes time. I’m looking forward to taking this challenge to improve day after day and looking forward to getting better day after day, which for me is the most important thing,” Sinner said. “But I cannot tell you when exactly I am on that level. If [I could], everything would be too easy.”