Had Stefanos Tsitsipas decided to defend the title at the Next Gen Finals in Milan, it could have been a perfect opportunity to watch him against another immense talent, Jannik Sinner. As we all know, the Greek never even thought about returning to Milan, embracing the stellar season to finish in the top-6, getting a chance to make a debut at the ATP Finals and winning the title in London as the sixth-youngest player at this event.
A week later in Milan, an 18-year-old Jannik Sinner lifted the trophy in front of the home fans in Milan, standing as the youngest but also the most dangerous player in the draw to pick another notable crown and make his breakthrough season an even better one.
Praising the younger competitor, Stefanos said Jannik should be able to make another significant jump through the ATP ranking list in 2020, possessing incredible shots and making the right moves together with a reliable and experienced team around him.
Choosing tennis over skiing, Sinner stated to play professional tournaments in 2018, advancing into one Futures final and still standing outside the top-500 this February. Entering Bergamo Challenger on the fast indoor surface, Jannik defeated six rivals to claim the first title at this level for himself and 2001 generation, staying on the winning course and conquering two Futures after that for 16 straight victories, still at the age of 17.
The Italian scored the first ATP win in Budapest as a qualifier, reaching another Challenger final and becoming the first player of his generation with the Masters 1000 triumph, defeating Steve Johnson at home in Rome. By the end of the year, Jannik lifted the trophy in Lexington Challenger, qualifying for the main draw at the US Open and sealing the deal with the semi-final in Antwerp and two titles at the Next Gen Finals and Ortisei Challenger to find himself in the top-80.
Overall, Jannik is the youngest player with three Challenger titles in a season since Richard Gasquet and one of five U18 competitors in the year-end top-80 since 2000, joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.
Sinner will kick off the new season in Canberra before making a debut at the Australian Open, probably as the youngest player in the draw. "Sinner is an up-and-coming and talented youngster, he has a strong personality despite his age.
In 2020, he should be able to rise further through the ranking list, making the right steps and having a great team around him, which always helps."