Rafael Nadal and Jannik Sinner played a high-quality match at Foro Italico on Wednesday, with the nine-time champion prevailing over the youngster 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and ten minutes. Like at Roland Garros last year, Nadal had to work hard against an aggressive and determined rival who wants to win every match he enters.
Jannik was a break in front three times and couldn't capitalize on that and take at least a set, wasting a 4-2 advantage in set number two to propel Nadal through. Eager to improve every segment of his game in his early years on the Tour, Sinner was mighty disappointed after the loss, saying he has to watch the encounter again with his team and that he can't sleep well after a match like this.
"The mentality is obviously the most important part of this sport. I knew that I could play good or quite well against Rafa at Roland Garros for many reasons. There I showed it for one set. This time, I knew that I could do something more, and I walked on the court more confident about my weapons.
I'm improving and trying to have more weapons every tournament I play and more solutions for every problem.
Jannik Sinner shared thoughts about Rafael Nadal Rome loss.
This is the point that we are working on, and there we have to improve a bit more.
It's a lesson, which is tough to accept, but I will take it for sure because I have to get better. I'm especially disappointed and sad after this loss because I think we both played quite a high-level match. Now it's tough to accept that I'm already out because I was a break up in the first set and once in the second.
It's tough to accept because Roland Garros was more like a test to see where I'm, and this time I knew that I could have, and maybe should have done something more. When I lose, I always try to draw positive things and find what I should have done better.
Obviously, right now, 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. It's tough right now, to be honest, because playing here, in Rome, it's quite a special tournament, especially for Italians.
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 tough moments better than me, like the last time in Paris. There are lessons that I can learn. 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. Today is a day that hurts, that it will not even make me sleep well at night," Jannik Sinner said.