Jannik Sinner's School of Greatness: Learning from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Jannik Sinner trained with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Australian Open

by Jovica Ilic
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Jannik Sinner's School of Greatness: Learning from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Jannik Sinner made his Australian debut in 2020, entering the main draw directly following an impressive run in the previous season. An 18-year-old scored one win in Melbourne and gathered a valuable experience, as always for the youngster on the big scene.

Besides two matches, Sinner trained with legends and learned much from them. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal shared the practice court with Jannik, recognizing his talent and potential. Sinner finished the 2019 season as the youngest player in the top-100.

Born in a village in the Dolomites, Jannik was a promising skier before choosing tennis as his primary sport. He made his professional debut in 2018 and reached the first Futures final. After a slow start to 2019, a tall youngster advanced into the semi-final of the Aktobe Futures before heading home to Bergamo.

The Italian shifted into a higher gear and claimed his first Challenger crown on the fast indoor court, dropping only 14 games in the last three encounters to make a name for himself!

Jannik Federer practiced with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal in Melbourne 2020.

It was the first Challenger crown for the 2001 generation, and Jannik had no intention of stopping there.

He conquered the trophy at Trento Futures the following week to wrap up the perfect fortnight. After a much-needed rest, Sinner went to Santa Margherita Di Pula and claimed another Futures crown, rattling off 16 straight victories.

As a qualifier, a teenager scored his first ATP win in Budapest at the end of April. Right after that, Jannik was the finalist of the strong Challenger in Ostrava, securing further progress on the ATP ranking list ahead of the home Masters 1000 event in Rome.

Sinner became the first player of his generation with a Masters 1000 win, ousting Steve Johnson in a tight third set for another milestone under his belt. Jannik earned a place in the main draw in Lyon and 's-Hertogenbosch, gathering experience on the ATP Tour before his coevals.

He stayed on the winning course on hard courts, lifting the Lexington Challenger trophy and qualifying for the main draw at the US Open. Jannik fought well and took a set away from former champion Stan Wawrinka. Sinner reached the Antwerp semi-final and cracked the top-100 following one victory at the ATP 500 event in Vienna.

The Italian received a wild card at the NextGen ATP Finals in Milan, playing as the youngest competitor in the field. Sinner produced dominant tennis on an indoor surface and ousted more experienced rivals to lift the trophy.

A week later, Jannik wrapped up the season in Ortisei, delivering another high-quality performance on an indoor court to celebrate the season's third Challenger title, becoming the youngest player to achieve that after Richard Gasquet.

With these points, Sinner secured a place in the year-end top-80, becoming only the fifth U18 player in that group since 2000 after Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov. Also, the Italian earned the ATP Newcomer of the Year award ahead of Felix Auger-Aliassime. Three and a half years later, Sinner is an established top-10 player and a contender for notable titles.

Jannik Sinner Roger Federer Rafael Nadal
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