Jannik Sinner made his Mutua Madrid Open debut today and his performance lived up to expectations. The young 19-year-old Italian player, who arrived at the Caja Mágica with his best ATP ranking (18), was convincing in his first match at the #MMOPEN with a win over Guido Pella (6-1, 4-4, RET). It may not be the way he hoped to progress, but he is now in the second round.
“You never want to win like this”, said Sinner after his victory. “But I think it has been a good first match, I’m trying to keep focusing on what I have to do.”
The Italian is one of the players destined to dominate the men’s tour. He seems unaffected by pressure, and so far this season he has racked up a win record of 19-7 and one title (Melbourne). The player himself recognises that one of his strengths is staying calm, as he has proven on court. To Sinner, his ranking is unimportant. “The ranking is a number”, admitted the Italian. “I am there where I am right now, but the road is long. At the end of the day I didn’t win anything. Two titles, but, you know, the road is long, and I know that I have to improve pretty much everything.”.
A finalist at the Miami Masters 1000 (lost to Hurkacz), Sinner has been breaking records ever since he burst into the Top 100 in 2019. The man from San Candido became the first under-20 year old to break into the Top 20 since the ATP Ranking began (1973). A pupil of Riccardo Piatti and Andrea Volpini, Sinner is without a doubt proving to be a fast learner.
To adapt to the conditions in Madrid, Sinner and his team decided to come to the Caja Mágica with enough time for a thorough preparation. It was a week that proved very useful to the Italian. “We are a little bit at altitude so it’s a little bit different. The ball goes quite fast so you have to somehow search for the right balance on court, which I think is the main goal here.”
Did you know…?
Tennis is not Sinner’s only passion. He was a prodigious skier, winning competitions in Italy between the ages of 8 and 12, however, at 13 he decided to focus on tennis.