An 18-year-old Jannik Sinner is the youngest player in the top-100 and one of only five U18 players who finished in the year-end top-80 since 2000, joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov. Jannik went to Riccardo Piatti's academy at the age of 12, making a professional debut in 2018 and reaching the first Futures final that year.
The youngster conquered the first Challenger crown on the fast indoor court in Bergamo in February 2019, dropping only 14 games in the last three encounters and introducing himself to the world of tennis! It was the first Challenger crown for 2001 generation and Jannik didn't stop there, lifting the trophy at Trento Futures in the following week to extend the winning streak, taking some rest and claiming another Futures title on clay to deliver 16 straight victories at the age of 17!
Sinner grabbed his first ATP win in Budapest at the end of April as a qualifier and received a wild card at home Masters 1000 event in Rome, beating Steve Johnson to become the first player of his generation with a win at that level.
A couple of months later, Jannik clinched another Challenger title in Lexington and qualifying for the US Open, losing to Stan Wawrinka in four sets. Jannik secured the place in the top-100 after the semi-final run in Antwerp and one win in Vienna, gaining confidence ahead of the Next Gen Finals in Milan where he ousted the better-ranked and more experienced rivals to become the third champion of this event after Hyeon Chung and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
A week later, Sinner finished the season in Ortisei, producing another stellar ride in front of the home fans on an indoor court to celebrate the third Challenger title of the season and book the place in the top-80. In an interview for Sky Sport, Jannik shared his thoughts about the opportunity to train with both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal during his Australian Open debut, describing Rafa as a humble guy but a machine on the practice court, learning a lot from the great Spaniard during the session they had.
"When I was little, Roger Federer was my idol. But, honestly, since I trained with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, he inspires me a lot. He is very humble, first of all, but Federer is as well, despite his commanding presence on the court. When you play with him, you feel that there is a machine that never gets wrong."