Can Jannik Sinner emulate what the Big 3 did?

It will be impossible for anyone to do what the Big 3 did: Jannik can get close to them though

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Can Jannik Sinner emulate what the Big 3 did?
© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

He is certainly the protagonist tennis player of the first quarter of 2024: Jannik Sinner is dominating the ATP Tour. This is demonstrated by the 15 victories in 15 official matches played this season. Especially on hard-courts, the young Italian seems truly unbeatable. The victory at the Australian Open certified his status. At 23 and with a whole career ahead of him, Jannik can become one of the rulers of the ATP Tour for the next 15 years.

Can he emulate what the Big 3 did? Does Sinner have the numbers to do what Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer did?

Obviously, emulating any of the Big 3 will be impossible for anyone. But Sinner has the chance to at least get closer to them. The Italian player seems unstoppable at the moment and has already collected an important series of consecutive victories, in 2024, which have allowed him to secure two titles, and compete for the number 2 in the ATP world ranking, between Indian Wells and Miami. He could also become ATP No.1 after the end of the Roland Garros.

But what Sinner has, perhaps more than his tennis players of the same age, is the approach, mentality and seriousness, combined with a humility and, at the same time, ambition, that only great champions have.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

In many ways, Jannik is a bit reminiscent of Djokovic. Solid, robotic, dedicated to work, a perfectionist, with incredible mental strength.

Too early, obviously, to make such important comparisons, but the path taken seems to be the right one.

In the meantime, the Italian has become the second Under 23 tennis player in the Open Era to open a new year with this winning streak, behind only Stefan Edberg, way back in 1987.

Jannik can achieve the impossible

Many fans naturally believe that Carlos Alcaraz is one of the few athletes who can beat the 22-year-old Italian in the ATP Master 1000 in Indian Wells, but it will be extremely tough for the Spaniard, as for anyone.: Sinner has shown an impressive level on the court since first rounds and can concretely play his chances to win the trophy, which would already be the third of the season, considering the elimination of Novak Djokovic on the other side of the draw.

Sinner will play in the quarterfinals against his Czech peer Jiri Lehecka, a very respectable opponent who eliminated both Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. The occasion will be propitious to improve the current record of victories. Having achieved Andre Agassi and Djokovic's result in 2023, Sinner can equal Roger Federer's score in 2006, 16 successes in a row.

Here are the goals that have entered history and currently precede the still open one of Sinner:

Novak Djokovic 41-0 in 2011
Novak Djokovic 26-0 in 2020
Rafael Nadal 20-0 in 2022
Pete Sampras (1997), Novak Djokovic (2013) and Roger Federer (2018) 17-0
Roger Federer 16-0 in 2006
Jannik Sinner (2024), Andre Agassi (1995) and Novak Djokovic (2023) 15-0

To overtake Pete Sampras and get on the podium, counting only the best record recorded by each tennis player, Sinner will need to win the Bnp Paribas Open.
At that point, considering another long competition like the Miami open, Jannik could improve on the 20-0 recently recorded by Nadal in that wonderful 2022.

Speaking at the press conference after the match won against Ben Shelton, in the 4th round of the BNP Paribas Open, Jannik analyzed:

"In the first set there were key moments with decisive points and even before the tiebreak I immediately had to save break points. In the tiebreak I was ahead then I made some mistakes and he came back but I finished well and I'm satisfied with my reaction in the first set.

 Trust is given, but I never take anything for granted. I go into every match trying to do my best and stay mentally focused, every day there is a different opponent and this time I was against someone with a great serve."

Jannik then talked about his next opponent in the quarter-finals, Jiri Lehecka: "I can't wait to face new challenges, now I don't know my opponent, we played five years ago but I didn't remember him: He is playing very well and I have to be focused from the first point to show good tennis.

The difficulties of the first set? Well, you can only learn by losing certain points and encounters and I lost many of these challenges. You just have to accept this and work, I'm young but I've had really bad defeats. Today I could have lost the first set, it was really tough, but on the other hand you have to stay positive and at the moment I think I have the right attitude."

Sinner talked alsop about the growth of his serve and explained: "When you are young it is easy to improve, you grow physically by working in the gym and you can serve faster. This year I turn 23 and I hope to remain constant and improve my serve, I I changed my movement last year and there's really a lot of work behind it."

Jannik Sinner
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