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A failed champion skier and a failed junior skier. Jannik Sinner is the new world number one

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 16:59:17

June 4, 2024 will forever remain in the history of Italian tennis. On this day it was learned that Jannik Sinner, 22 years old, second racket in the world, at the end of Roland Garros 2024, would rise to the top of the ATP ranking for the first time in his career. Novak Djokovic, 24-time Grand Slam champion, after winning two marathon matches in a row, did not find the strength to continue fighting in the tournament and retired on the eve of the semifinals. And now nothing will stop Sinner from becoming the first racket in the world on June 10, no matter how the tournament ends. The achievement is even more remarkable if we take into account that Yannick became the first Italian in history to reach the summit.

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Many will wonder: why does he have such a strange first and last name for an Italian? Yes, and in appearance he does not look like a classic representative of the Apennine Peninsula, you will agree. But Italians are different. Sinner comes from the commune of San Candido in South Tyrol, located in northeastern Italy. And there he is a stone’s throw from the border with Germany. The Germans even call this commune differently – Innichen. And in this area, according to the 2011 census, 85% of residents speak primarily German and only a little less than 15% speak Italian.

Hardcore tennis fans will immediately remember the German Martin Zinner, who won a couple of titles in the 90s. His surname is written in Latin exactly the same as our hero’s. But Zinner has nothing to do with Yannick. Sinner’s native language is German, but he has long mastered Italian and English, although Italian, according to Yannick, was difficult for him at first.

…This material would not have been written if Sinner had chosen a different path in the sport. When he was a child, tennis was third on his list of preferences, after downhill skiing and soccer. Well, everything is clear here: if you are from South Tyrol, then God himself ordered you to take up alpine skiing. And football in Italy is almost the state religion.

Jannik Sinner as a child: skier and footballer

Photo: From the personal archive of Jannik Sinner.

Yannick may not have become a top tennis player also because he was good at alpine skiing. As a child he shone at the national level, winning several trophies. But at 13 he made a decision: tennis, period. Our hero wanted to compete directly with his opponent and have more room for error throughout the match. And he wanted to play an individual sport where he could make all the decisions, something he wouldn’t have in team sports. That’s why skiing and football took a backseat.

“In skiing you have to go down the mountain in 90 seconds. And if you make even one mistake, everything will be over. In tennis you can play for two hours, make a lot of mistakes and still win the match,” the ATP press service quotes Sinner. Intelligible and understandable, very much in the German spirit.

His parents supported 13-year-old Yannick’s decision to focus on tennis and he moved to Riccardo Piatti’s academy. There he lived with one of his coaches. Before that, Sinner played tennis no more than twice a week and only began training daily in 2014. But he did not have any significant success in the youth ranks. Two minor titles in 2017, that’s all. He had never played in the main draw of a major junior tournament, much less a Grand Slam tournament in his age category. And he never got higher than 133rd in the youth rankings. Who could have guessed then that he was a future champion? Not even Yannick himself could do it.

In 2018, Sinner began his professional career. In September, immediately after turning 17, she qualified for one of the Challengers, ranking 878th in the world. Yannick lost in the first qualifying round, but remained at the tournament site with coach Andrea Volpini, Piatti’s replacement, who organized a training session for him with Paolo Lorenzi, former world number 33, third favorite in that Challenger.

“The next day it was raining and we played for a couple of hours at the club. Yes, he lost in the first round of qualifying, but he did that exercise better than me (unfortunately, Paolo did not specify what type of exercise it was. – “Championship” note). I thought: if I am the third seed and he plays better than me at his age, then he must be a special player,” the ATP press service quotes Lorenzi.

In January 2019, Sinner, instead of competing at the junior Australian Open, went to the ITF tournament in Tunisia. And there she lost in the first round. A month later she won her first Challenger, in Bergamo, and in April she achieved her first victory at the ATP level. Her debut in the TBS rankings took place at Wimbledon, where Yannick also lost. After that, she did not stay in Europe, but went to the United States, where he played three Challengers to perfect his hard-court game. And for the first time she qualified for a major: at the US Open.

Jannik Sinner at the 2019 US Open

Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

His compatriots, Lorenzi and Andreas Seppi, who also performed in New York, highlighted the work of the young tennis player in training. Sinner’s shots sounded different than other players and sounded more like a hammer hitting a nail, which was especially surprising given Yannick’s slim build.

In October in Antwerp, the ever-improving Italian reached his first ATP semi-final. In the same tournament he competed in doubles with Lorenzi. “He played in the singles quarterfinals and won. Then we played doubles and won the match. The next day he had to play singles, his first semi-final in an ATP tournament. You would have thought he would go to rest. But after those two games he returned to the court to practice because he wanted to perfect some details. And then it became clear that he would become an incredible champion,” the ATP press service quotes Paolo.

Two months later, Sinner received a wild card to the ATP Minor Final Championship, which was then held in Milan. And Yannick won the tournament, despite the presence of opponents such as Alex de Minaur, Casper Ruud and Francis Tiafoe. In less than a year, the Italian went from being a tennis player who lost in the first round of the Challenger to being a player who received the award for the best rookie of the season.

Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner with trophies after the final of the 2019 ATP Finals

Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Since then, Sinner hasn’t looked back. In 2020 he won his first title at the ATP level and debuted in the top 40, a year later he won three more trophies, reached the final of the Miami Masters and entered the top ten… The time has come to give a new step. Piatti’s contribution to Sinner’s rise is undeniable, but in February 2022, Yannick changed coaches. Simone Vagnozzi became his mentor, and in the summer the legendary Darren Cahill joined the team, who can now boast having coached four of the world’s top rackets. In addition to Sinner, they are Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Simona Halep.

In the 2022 season, Sinner began to have a consistent performance on TBS: three quarterfinals out of four possible. In the 2022 Wimbledon quarterfinals, Yannick led 2-0 in sets in the match against Djokovic, but then he couldn’t beat Novak, even with that start to the match. In the quarterfinals of the US Open, the Italian lost to Carlos Alcaraz: the five-set battle ended almost three in the morning, local time. However, these defeats only strengthened his character.

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Although this did not appear immediately. Even reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2023 did little to change Sinner’s perception in the eyes of the general public. Yannick and Alcaraz were and are considered the main talents of the generation, but in July 2022, Carlos was already a two-time TBS champion, and the Italian could only dream of it then.

But sooner or later quantity could not fail to become quality. Daniil Medvedev won’t let you lie. The history of personal meetings between Medvedev and Sinner began with 6-0 in favor of the Russian, and now the score is 6-5. That same year, Yannick won his first Masters, in Toronto, and reached the final of the Final Tournament, now at the adult level. And he gave Italy the second Davis Cup in history, the first in 47 years.

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After winning the 2024 Australian Open, Sinner finally entered the elite. In the final he won a resounding victory over Medvedev: 3: 6, 3: 6, 6: 4, 6: 4, 6: 3. This is his main title for now. But he clearly won’t be the last in the majors.

During his career, Yannick managed to win $21.5 million in prize money. That is, approximately one million per year, if counted from birth. Among his sponsors are world famous brands such as Nike, Head, Rolex, Gucci, Alfa Romeo. And the Italian’s total fortune is estimated at 15-16 million dollars. In Yannick’s personal life everything is in full swing: recently it became known that he is dating an athlete, Komsomol member and simply beautiful Anna Kalinskaya.

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Sinner is grateful to Piatti and his first coach, Heribert Mayr, for his progress. And his parents, who taught him independence and allowed him to leave home when he was a teenager to pursue his dream.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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