How long can a tennis player's career last? Today, unlike 20 years ago, a player can play at the age of 40 and even beyond, as Roger Federer and his sisters Venus and Serena Williams have demonstrated. And look what Djokovic is achieving, at almost 37 years old.
The teams have improved in recent years, also thanks to science and technological innovation. A tennis player from the Top-10, with a dietician, physiotherapist, mental coach and more in the team, can extend his career by ten years, compared to a tennis player from 20 years ago. But then there is the matter of motivation. You also need desire and will to continue.
Jannik Sinner granted an exclusive interview to L'Équipe, waiting to return to the court after the wonderful victory at the Australian Open in the first Grand Slam of the 2024 season. The Italian tennis player answered a series of interesting questions, including one in particular. Jannik was asked where he saw himself in 10 years.
"I hope I can look back on my trip and appreciate every moment. That's the most important thing," replied Sinner.
"Darren Cahill often tells me that the most important thing is to make connections throughout your career. Victories create strong feelings, but they are fleeting. When my career is over, I know I can always call Darren for coffee. I am very lucky to have him and Simone Vagnozzi with me," added the Italian, praising his team.
Sinner will be in Rotterdam for another important milestone: becoming the new number 3 in the world ranking. At the ATP 500 in Rotterdam, Sinner will have to defend the final obtained last year. Jannik will lead the main draw and, if he were to confirm the expectations of the day before and triumph at the end of the week, he would overtake Daniil Medvedev in the ranking, who will lose the 500 points of the success in Rotterdam in 2023. The young tennis player's first challenge in a rather complicated draw will be against Botic van de Zandschulp, also faced in Australia.
And Panatta warns him: "Sinner will have to handle the pressure"
Adriano Panatta talked about the record that Jannik Sinner could set after the Dutch tournament. As mentioned a few lines above, if successful, Jannik would overtake Daniil Medvedev and become the first Italian able to reach third position in the ATP ranking in the Open Era. Only Nicola Pietrangeli achieved this feat, but the current ranking system had not yet been introduced.
In Rotterdam, Sinner will face Botic van de Zandschulp on his debut, the same opponent he defeated in the first round in the fantastic battle he experienced in Melbourne, where he won the first Slam of his career.
"Rotterdam in itself is not one of the most important tournaments in the world, but it has a decent following and above all it can help Jannik become ATP No.3, which would consolidate his climb towards the top of world tennis," explained Panatta
"Starting as the favorite will also represent a completely new psychological situation. Sinner will have to learn to manage the pressure quickly, because everyone will expect something more from him, both his opponents and the fans and professionals. It will be a good challenge for Sinner, who has also shown in the recent past that he can handle the weight of certain expectations," added the former winne rof the Roland Garros.