“Jannik! Jannik!” Wherever you turn around in Turin in these days, you could only hear talks and cheers for Jannik Sinner, as everyone was speaking about him; Even tonight, after his defeat in the final match against Serbian Novak Djokovic (6-3, 6-3), who won his seventh ATP Finals title, the crowd’s attention was all for Jannik and his efforts. There is no doubt that the 53rd edition of the ATP Finals in Turin has definitively consecrated Sinner to the world stage.
Match after match, he showed he can handle top stages with no fear and with the attitude of those champions who can aim for the highest level: After three solid wins in the green group, he overcame Russian Daniil Medvedev in an intense and solid semi final (6-3, 7-6, 6-1), shining as an absolute protagonist in these ATP Finals.
WITH THE GREATESTS
Thanks to his plays, match after match, the Italian public has found new, great enthusiasm behind tennis, as he steps as the first Italian to have ever reached this stage. With his recent wins, Sinner is leading an authentic cultural revolution in his country, restoring enthusiasm in the Italian fans who have found in players like him, Matteo Berrettini – the first Italian to have ever reached the Finals in Wimbledon, in 2021 – Fabio Fognini – nine-times ATP tournaments winner – and Francesca Schiavone – winner of the 2010 edition of Roland Garros – new, authentic icons of this sport, restoring glory days from Nicola Pietrangeli and Adriano Panatta.
Today Sinner gave up on Novak Djokovic, who once again showed his legend to the international crowd: The Serbian has never lost more than one match in a single tournament and today he avenged Tuesday’s historical defeat (7-5, 6-7, 7-6) against Jannik.
AN EARLY STAR
From 1592nd in the world ATP rankings in 2018 – his first-ever placement in world standings, just five years ago – to the ATP Finals stage against the number one in the world. Jannik Sinner is not just a prominent player anymore, but undoubtedly one of the brightest champions of Italian tennis and sports in general.
A talent that approached the sports path back to his early childhood. He was born on August 16, 2001, in Innichen, in South Tyrol – San Candido in Italian, home of Nathalie Santer, the first Italian woman to have ever competed and won at international stage in biathlon – from Hanspeter and Siglinde Sinner. He has a brother, Marc Sinner.
He began both skiing and playing tennis when he was only three years old and he eventually became one of Italy’s top junior skiers from eight to twelve years old, after winning a national championship in giant slalom at age eight and earning a national runner-up at the age of twelve.
From the age of thirteen, he focused all his efforts on playing tennis, starting his professional career one year after. He started his journey in the ITF Junior Circuit – which is the premier junior tour run by the International Tennis Federation – in 2016, moving to the senior categories in 2017. He did not graduated from high school yet, as he focused all his efforts in tennis: Despite that, he has always stated that he will complete his studies.
WHAT A JOURNEY
Sinner won his first ATP Challenger title in Bergamo in February 2019 at the age of 17 years and 6 months, despite entering the tournament with no match wins at the Challenger level.
It is an historical title for Jannik: As a matter of fact, he became the first athlete born in 2001 to reach a Challenger final, as well as being the youngest Italian player to win a Challenger title in history. On the same year, 2019, he won the Next Gen ATP Finals title, ending his season at 78th place in the world ATP ranking, the youngest since 2003 to reach such a high position in standings. Today, four years later, he approaches the final match in the the senior stage of the tournament, trying to close what it could be an historical circle for himself.
AIMING AT THE TOP
From there on, he never stopped dreaming and winning, always aiming at highest picks: He won overall 10 ATP titles from 2020, from Sofia to Melbourne, from Washington to Anversa. The historical semi finals in Wimbledon this year against Djokovic – despite having lost against the Serbian – gave him the right confidence to approach the rest of the season.
In fact, he won the ATP 1000 in Toronto, Canada, and the 2023 China Open: There, after having reached the ATP Finals in Beijing, where he scooped fourth place in ATP world rankings, equalizing the historic placement by Adriano Panatta in his glory days.
IN TURIN all eyes are on Sinner.
It could not be otherwise, in his native country. But one fan above all captures the attention of the public, Jannik in particular. His father is visibly worried, anxious about his son’s race. The pressure on his face, point for point, particularly in his match against Djokovic last Tuesday, is palpable. But Hanspeter Sinner can therefore breathe a sigh of relief and joy in seeing his son win against the number one in the world. Today, in the middle of the final match, despite his son’s lost against the very best in the world, he experienced once again these feelings.
In Turin, among those greats who seemed unattainable, those champions against whom one can only dream of being able to compete and win, Sinner stepped as an undisputed protagonist, match after match: After the convincing success on his debut against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-4, 6-4) and the first career victory over Novak Djokovic (7-5, 6-7, 7-6), the South Tyrolean also beats Holger Rune in three sets (6-2, 5-7, 6-4) certifying first place in the green group. And yesterday, after two hours and 29 minutes played at highest level, he scooped a ticket for today’s final against Daniil Medvedev. All of this at the age of 22.
A CULTURAL REVOLUTION
Despite today’s result, it is indeed to be said that Sinner is making an authentic revolution in the way Italian fans are experiencing and thinking about tennis.
Jannik brought back enthusiasm and engagement behind the world of this sport in his country, not only for fans in the seats and in front of the screen, but also for those new generations who are finding a new idol to take example from.
ON HIS SIDE
Italians do not stop speaking about him and his achievement: The desire to compete and aim to be the best has brought him to where he is today, among the greatest of tennis. With no words out of place neither a controversial attitude, he made his plays speak for himself.
Today Sinner did not crown his dream to win the ATP Finals at the age of 22, but time is on his side to keep aiming to the top in the upcoming tournaments.
Credit: AIPS Media