Sinner demolishes Shelton: "Mentally I was strong in the important points"

The Italian champion, who qualified for the quarter-finals of Indian Wells, analyzed the victory over the young US

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Sinner demolishes Shelton: "Mentally I was strong in the important points"
© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner confirms his unbeaten record in 2024, eliminating Ben Shelton in straight sets and qualifying for the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open.

The young idol of the crowd at the Indian Wells Garden was unable to stop the tactical, technical and physical dominance of the Italian, who scored his 15th consecutive victory of the season, mercilessly beating the American 7-6 6-1.

Sinner will challenge the Czech Jiri Lehecka in the quarter-finals who beat the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 6-4.

At the on-court interview, Sinner analyzed the match, explaining how his victory came about.

"It's never easy to play against him, he doesn't give you much rhythm: he's an opponent who makes me grow. Today wasn't an easy match, there was even a bit of wind. He served very well. Mentally I'm I was strong especially in the important points of the first set. I had my chances, which I managed to exploit. I was always positive. After the break in the second set I felt better and pushed a little more. I'm happy with my performance," said the Italian.

At the press conference, Sinner analyzed his performances going into the details of the match.

"Today I served the second serve better, especially in the most important points. There was a lot of tension because there were so many important points, I had to react very well mentally because I had set points and he takes the tape, then I'm ahead by two mini-break in the tie-break and I find myself 4-4.

But these are the moments that I like. You have to be happy on the court even if things aren't going very well. The day after tomorrow it will be a very difficult match, against a player who plays very well at tennis," he told.

Jannik also talked with great diplomacy and honesty about managing pressure.

"I've always been a player who doesn't care much what people say, either people like me or they don't like me, I can't control everyone. What I can control are the people around me, and for me they are much more important than all the I'm staying. But talking about this thing, winning a Slam, is an incredible, beautiful feeling, I still have it in my mind.

The pressure is always there and the expectations of myself are always there. I just feel prepared, when I prepared myself mentally, physically and also tennis-wise I say: ok I'm here, if you beat me I'll shake your hand and tomorrow we'll train. If I win there's still work to do, so the result is small. When you leave the court and win it's always a great satisfaction obviously, but it's quite small. Everything else, the work is big," he explained.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

On the quarter-final match, Jannik admitted that he doesn't know his next opponent, Lehecka, who he has never played against.

"Every day there is a different opponent. Today not only was it a different opponent but a left-handed one, who is serving incredibly well, and I'm looking forward to this kind of challenge. The next match will also be a challenge, and I don't know the my opponent. We played five years ago somewhere, and I don't even remember, I know because they told me," he told.

Sinner then analyzed what has changed in his serve, a shot which has significantly improved under the management of Simone Vagnozzi and Darren Cahill.

"When you're that young it's also much easier to improve. Physically you grow, you work a lot in the gym, you're getting stronger and you can serve faster for a longer period of time. I'm still 22, I need to be 23, and I hope I can still improve the serve for the next few years until I get a consistent shot.

Then when the shot is consistent, which I feel is slowly getting closer, then you can also choose the way you serve. Not just very fast, you can serve kick or slice, even to the body. But to achieve this you also need to understand what works best. I changed the service movement last year in the middle of the season, there's a lot of work behind it," he explained.

Indian Wells