June 17, 2024

Jannik Sinner becomes the new No. 1 – the first Italian ever

Jannik Sinner is the first Italian to top the world tennis rankings.Image: www.imago-images.de

After losing Novak Djokovic to injury, it has become clear what has been brewing for a long time: on Monday, Jannik Sinner will become the first Italian to hold the number one ranking in world tennis.

There was something strange about the scene. During yesterday’s match between Sinner and Dimitrov, the entire stadium in Paris probably already knew via social media that the new No. 1 was on the court – with the exception of Jannik Sinner himself after he reached the semi-finals for the first time in his career with a confident three-set win over Grigor Dimitrov. After arriving at the French Open, he quickly discovered his luck. This term could not be more wrong. A sinner’s rise to the top has nothing to do with luck.

“It is every tennis player’s dream to become No. 1,” said the humble South Tyrolean tennis player during his on-court interview with Fabrice Santoro, without forgetting to express his regret about Djokovic’s meniscus injury. Therefore, the defending Serbian champion had to announce his loss in the quarter-finals on Wednesday to his last rival from last year, Casper Ruud, and give up his throne without a fight.

A very special moment

“This is of course a very special moment for me,” the affected sinner admitted. “And I’m happy to share it with you.” Paris has not been a good place for him so far. He only reached the quarter-finals in his first appearance in 2020, and last year he finished in the second round. Sinner is now able to rack up a similar number of points. At the latest, with his win at the Australian Open in January, with his semi-final victory over Djokovic, the 22-year-old sixteen has put himself in good stead and has backed that up with further titles in Rotterdam and Miami. He is now the 29th No. 1 in the history of the world rankings (since 1973).

Planning, precision and work

The once promising young ski racer, who still enjoys hiking and skiing to escape the hectic and glittering world of tennis, is a shining example of what can be achieved with smart planning, precision and hard work – plus a lot of talent, of course. .

In February 2022, he moved from the coach of the Italian star Riccardo Piatti, who had looked after him since the age of 13 and when he moved from South Tyrol, to the less famous Simone Vagnozzi. Six months later, he brought another man into the squad, the experienced Australian Darren Cahill, who knows from his time with Andre Agassi, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic and Simona Halep what it is like to play for major titles. Vagnozzi for technique and tactics, Cahill for the right mental attitude – this combination turned out to be a lottery pick.

It was only his body that could slow down Sinner, who thrilled the Italian tennis world with his Davis Cup win. Of all things, he had to miss the home tournament in Rome with hip problems and was worried about starting in Paris for a long time. But now he looks like a hardened hero, incredibly strong tactically and mentally. Best example: In the round of 16 against Corentin Moutet, when he barely saw the ball in the first set, the Frenchman played brilliantly, but always remained calm and eventually won safely in four sets.

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An uncomfortable summer for Djokovic

The down-to-earth nature of the son of a cook and a waitress who run a guesthouse in Sextental in the far north-east of South Tyrol should ensure that Sinner does not take off and has a great future ahead of him.

As for Novak Djokovic’s situation, it is more disturbing, as he went through a really difficult first half of the year. With a torn medial meniscus, his big goals – equaling Roger Federer’s eighth Wimbledon title and becoming an Olympic champion for the first time – are also at great risk.

Djokovic could not or did not want to say anything about the coming weeks. However, he explained on social media that he had been having a “small problem with his knee for a few weeks”, but that it was “nothing to worry about”. In the third match of the second group of the round of 16 against Francisco Cerundolo, he slipped, affecting his knee. “I’ve tried everything and I’m sad,” he explained of his loss. (CAT/SDA)

The best photos from the 2024 French Open

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The best photos from the 2024 French Open

The spectators were probably dressed in Wimbledon attire.

Source: Keystone / Christoph Ena

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