'Rafael Nadal hits every ball like it's a Major final,' says Jannik Sinner

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'Rafael Nadal hits every ball like it's a Major final,' says Jannik Sinner

Since the beginning of 2019, Jannik Sinner has gained over 500 positions on the ATP ranking list, passing the older and more experienced rivals with ease and finding himself in the top-40, still as a teenager. The San Candido native claimed three Challenger titles in 2019 to make a name for himself, made a Major debut at the US Open and reached the semi-final in Antwerp to announce his arrival.

After a slower start in 2020, the youngster found the right form in the closing stages, winning 15 of the season's last 19 matches for a perfect ending and big goals ahead of 2021. Jannik reached the quarter-final at Roland Garros debut in October, beating four rivals in style and setting the clash against Rafael Nadal.

The youngest debutant in Roland Garros quarter-final since Nadal himself 15 years ago, Sinner showed his rich talent against the world's finest clay-courter, serving for the opening set and leading with a break in set number two.

Jannik Sinner spoke about two weeks spent with Rafael Nadal in Adelaide.

Pushed against the wall, Nadal overcame all the obstacles to score a 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 triumph in two hours and 49 minutes, spending more time on the court than against Novak Djokovic in the final!

Rafa and Jannik spent two weeks together in Adelaide in January, training together before heading to Melbourne. Describing the practice sessions with the 20-time Major winner, Jannik said that it was an incredible experience, learning a lot from Rafa and praising the Spaniard's ability to hit every ball like it is a Major final.

"Spending time with Rafa in Adelaide was fantastic, I learned a lot on every level. What was great for me to see about Rafa, as I see from other champions, is the impressive way in which he thinks and approaches every practice and every ball.

He is a super friendly and humble person, and something I learned from him was the intensity he puts into every practice session. Every time he steps on the court, it's like he is playing a Major final. I got a lot out of spending two weeks training with him, and I feel blessed and honored that he chose me to prepare for such an important event like the Australian Open. I also liked his team; they are all friendly and nice people," Jannik Sinner said.