Jannik Sinner has been among the youngsters to watch in the last couple of years, leading his generation and wrapping up his teenage career in the top-15! Recognized by all the players from the top, Jannik had a chance to train with them and gather knowledge and experience that he has turned into three ATP titles so far.
Rafael Nadal practiced with Jannik at the Australian Open last year and brought him to Adelaide at the beginning of the season to share the practice court with him for a week. Two rivals have played twice on the big scene so far, with Nadal beating Sinner at the last year's Roland Garros and this May in Rome.
Rafa and Jannik battled in the second round at Foro Italico, with the Spaniard scoring a tough 7-5, 6-4 victory. Rafa lost serve thrice and secured five breaks to cross the finish line first, overcoming a break deficit twice in the opener and bouncing back from 4-2 down in set number two to prevail and avoid more drama.
Sinner gave his best to challenge the mighty opponent as he did in Paris last year, failing to impose his shots and produce better numbers in his games. The youngster was disappointed to lose in straight sets, saying they both played on a high level and that he lacked the extra gear to present a more favorable result and fight for victory.
Jannik Sinner shared thoughts about Rafael Nadal loss in Rome.
"The mentality is obviously the most essential part of this sport. I knew that I could play quite well against Rafa at Roland Garros for many reasons. I showed that for one set.
This time, I knew that I could do something more, and I walked on the court more confident about my weapons. This is the point that we are working on, and there we have to improve a bit more. It's a tough lesson to accept, but I will take it because I have to get better.
After this loss, I'm incredibly disappointed and sad because I think we both played quite a high-level match. I was a break up in the first set twice and once in the second. It's tough to accept because Roland Garros was more like a test to see where I'm.
This time, I knew that I could have and maybe should have done something more. I always try to draw positive things and find what I should have done better when I lose. Obviously, it's tough to talk about the match; twenty minutes ago, I was still on the court.
I'm still playing a bit in my head what I should have done better in some exact points. If I had won today, tomorrow would have been a bit of a crowd. I love to play in front of crowds. Rafa handled the challenging moments better than me, like the last time in Paris.
We have to come together with my team and watch this match many times. Then we will see what we should have done better. If I compare my game against Djokovic in Monte Carlo with today, I have improved many things," Jannik Sinner said.