Darren Cahill compares Jannik Sinner's skill to Rafael Nadal

The Australian coach analyzed the upcoming clay-swing and Jannik's prospects

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Darren Cahill compares Jannik Sinner's skill to Rafael Nadal
© Brennan Asplen / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner will try to dethrone Novak Djokovic in the upcoming clay-swing. The successes achieved at the Australian Open and Miami laid the foundations for building something special on clay too.

Darren Cahill, in an interview with Sky Sport, spoke about the characteristics that should help Sinner on clay courts, also making a comparison with the skills of Spanish legend Rafael Nadal.

"I think his tennis can be fantastic on clay. He has all the right characteristics: he moves very well on the surface, he manages to generate great power from the baseline, he has improved a lot on serve and above all he knows how to close points at the net. In this he he's a bit like Rafa, who obviously preferred to play from the baseline, but who, on clay, also knew how to hit the net well and was very quick at doing so. 

Whoever manages to do this consistently ends up scaring his opponents and sending them into panic. I think Jannik has a game that adapts well to clay. His results in the last two years have come more on fast hard courts and grass, but I think he will achieve just as much on clay in the future," he explained.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© David Becker / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Only Novak Djokovic now separates Jannik from the first position in the ATP ranking. There are 1015 points of difference between Serbian and Italian However, Djokovic will defend 2315, while Sinner will defend just 585.

Excluding the semi-final reached in Monte Carlo, Sinner stopped in the quarter-finals in Barcelona, when he announced his withdrawal a few hours before the derby with Lorenzo Musetti, in the 4th round in Rome and in the 2nd round in Paris, with the unexpected defeat suffered against Daniel Altmaier.

Vagnozzi praises Sinner

In the upcoming Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, Sinner will also be able to count on the presence of his coach Simone Vagnozzi, who is absent in the United States due to a minor operation.

In an interview given to Italian newspaper Repubblica, Vagnozzi talked about the results obtained by Jannik, revealing the objectives for the season on clay courts.

"We see the little things, the details. Of course, before he took the field we also talked, and the coach then checks that the athlete is following the advice, that what he prepared beforehand works. And television paradoxically helps us see certain expressions of him better. From the pits it is perhaps more difficult because they are positioned differently in the stadium," explained Vagnozzi.

On the team's chemistry and the importance of their relationship, the coach declared: "Well, the thing that makes me happiest is that in two years we managed to win a Slam and reach this ranking. I'm proud. I don't like talking about myself, but I never had any doubts that this was the right path to take. The credit naturally goes to the entire team: Umberto Ferrara is a top level trainer who, if he were a foreigner, would be on a pedestal as a genius, whereas he is only Italian.

And then Darren Cahill, with his background. Finally, Giacomo Naldi. For my part, I have always been considered young, and this is the thing that drives me crazy at 40: we talk a lot about giving opportunities to young people, and then if they succeed they receive criticism. Here, I hope that in my small way I can make it clear that there are many other very good young coaches in Italy. For me it's a source of pride."

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Brennan Asplen / Stringer Getty Images Sport

To reach absolute perfection and the first position in the ranking, Sinner will also have to try to win on clay, on which he has triumphed only once in his career.

"I think that when you find a path that works you shouldn't change. We must continue to behave like this: Monte Carlo, with the few days we will have to adapt, will be one of the most delicate phases we will have during the year.

But for Jannik it is important to play some matches on clay, he goes to Monte Carlo calmly, trying to do the best he can, knowing that it is an adaptation. Then we will have Madrid, Rome and Paris, but, like all things, we will evaluate from week to week.

I am convinced that Jannik will be very competitive on clay too. And, ultimately, this was the goal: to be able to reach the end of all the tournaments. So far I can say that we have managed to seize the opportunities that have arisen.

Now we have to do the same thing on red clay. But I think Jannik will have the same opportunities on this surface too" declared the coach. Sinner has now become an example for many kids," he explained

Darren Cahill Jannik Sinner Rafael Nadal