Jannik Sinner picks Roger Federer as his idol while growing up



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Jannik Sinner picks Roger Federer as his idol while growing up

Ranked 73th, an 18-year-old Jannik Sinner is the youngest player in the top-200, embracing a breakthrough run in 2019 where he gained almost 500 places on the ATP list to become the fifth U18 player in the year-end top-80 after Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

The Italian has won three ATP matches so far in 2020, reaching the quarter-final in Rotterdam and waiting to resume the action in June if the coronavirus slows down and allows the ATP Tour to continue. In the recent Q&A with his fans on Instagram, Jannik mentioned Roger Federer as his idol while growing up, admiring the aggressive skills of the Swiss and having a chance to work with him in Rome and Melbourne.

Born in a village in the Dolomites, Jannik was a promising skier before engaging tennis as his primary sport, making a professional debut in 2018 and reaching the first Futures final. After a slow start of 2019, a tall youngster who works with Riccardo Piatti and Andrea Volpini advanced into the semi-final of the Aktobe Futures before heading home to Bergamo, conquering the first Challenger crown on the fast indoor court after dropping only 14 games in the final three encounters!

It was the first Challenger crown for 2001 generation and Jannik had no intention of stopping there, conquering the trophy at Trento Futures in the following week to wrap up perfect two weeks. After a much-needed rest, Sinner went to Santa Margherita Di Pula and won another Futures title on clay, rattling off 16 straight victories before scoring the first ATP win in Budapest at the end of April as a qualifier.

Jannik was also the finalist of the strong Challenger in Ostrava, gathering momentum ahead of home Masters 1000 event in Rome where he became the first player of his generation with a win at that level, ousting Steve Johnson in a tight third set to achieve the milestone.

Sinner earned a place in the main draw in Lyon and s-Hertogenbosch, gathering more experience on the ATP Tour ahead of North American hard-court swing that saw him winning Lexington Challenger and qualifying for the main draw at the US Open, losing to a former champion Stan Wawrinka in four sets.

Following the semi-final at the ATP 250 event in Antwerp, the Italian cracked the top-100 for the first time after one victory at the ATP 500 event in Vienna, earning another achievement for his generation and assembling boost ahead of the Next Gen Finals in Milan.

Jannik was the player to beat in front of the home fans, dominating the field despite being the youngest competitor and defeating Alex de Minaur in the title match to confirm the status of the upcoming star. A week later, Sinner wrapped up the season in Ortisei, delivering another high-quality performance on an indoor court to celebrate the third Challenger title of the season, becoming the youngest player with that feat since Richard Gasquet.

The young Italian has won three matches on the Tour so far in 2020, delivering the first Major triumph in Melbourne and advancing into the quarter-final in Rotterdam, seeing many more notable results in the rest of the year once the action resumes.