Novak Djokovic had a simply exceptional 2021, leading him to only one win since the 'Calendar Grand Slam' After winning the first three Slams of the season, the world number 1 made it to the final at the US Open against Daniil Medvedev.
With the possibility of writing a memorable page of history, the Serbian phenomenon has stalled and fell clearly under the blows of the Russian. If he won in New York, Nole would repeat Rod Laver's legendary feat and take the lead in the all-time Grand Slam standings (he currently shares the record with eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal).
The 34-year-old from Belgrade will be back in action next week at Paris-Bercy, a preparatory tournament ahead of the ATP Finals in Turin and the Davis Cup finals. Among the players who have stood out in recent weeks is Jannik Sinner.
The 20-year-old Italian, fresh from triumphs in Sofia and Antwerp, is in full swing for a place in Turin. In a recent interview with 'Adnkronos', former Italian captain of the Davis Cup Corrado Barazzutti drew a parallel between Sinner and Djokovic.
Bertolucci on Jannik Sinner
"I have said it many times, Jannik Sinner is destined and confirms even today that he is, after Antwerp - a candidate to become also No. 1 in the world," said Barazzutti. "Sinner is racing to reach the top of the ranking, and at the moment to qualify for the Masters in Turin," the Italian added.
"I hope that he will also play in Davis Cup, with Berrettini and the others; he could win the Cup." When asked by Adnkronos if Sinner was on his way to becoming as successful as Novak Djokovic, Paolo Bertolucci pointed out that the Serb is still the best in the business, and currently far superior to the young Italian.
"Maybe, but let's take it easy: Nole is the best," Paolo Bertolucci said. "But he (Sinner) has the basics and Jannik is predestined: he insists on hardwork, he likes it, he does it seriously, he never takes a step back, he is a sponge and wants to reach as high as possible."
According to Bertolucci, Sinner is a player who grows even in defeat, which is why he reckons the youngster has a great future. "(Jannik Sinner is) serious, poised, he looks good on the court and in the spotlight, he doesn't get excited or beat down," Bertolucci added.
"He takes defeat in the right direction and learns from it without grumbling. So now let's sit comfortably and wait, it will give us great satisfaction."