Jannik Sinner's honesty: "I can't compare myself to Novak Djokovic"

The Italian tennis player made an interesting parallel with the Serbian champion

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Jannik Sinner's honesty: "I can't compare myself to Novak Djokovic"
© Carlos Alvarez / Stringer Getty Images Sport

During the media day of the Mutua Madrid Open, the Italian tennis player Jannik Sinner talked about world number one Novak Djokovic and his first meeting with Rafael Nadal, also recalling his emotions following his first Slam title in Australia.

Sinner answered the question of who is currently the best tennis player in the world.

"I think it's a difficult question to answer. We always look at the current moment, and sometimes it's positive, sometimes it's not. I think I can't compare myself to Djokovic and everything he's done: I have a lot of respect for him, just as I have a lot respect for Carlos Alcaraz, who has won more than me. I have a lot of respect for both of them. I just try to play my tennis, give it my all and see what I can achieve," he told.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Carlos Alvarez / Stringer Getty Images Sport

The ATP Master 1000 in Madrid starts on Wednesday, the second tournament in this category on clay and the fourth of the year. Sinner will lead the seeding as number one seed.

Considering his absence last year, and given the absence of Djokovic and the doubts about the presence of the reigning champion Alcaraz, the Spanish tournament could be a great opportunity to nibble some points in the rankings from the Serbian, demonstrating that he has reached a good level also on the clay-courts.

Regarding his first memory of him with Rafa Nadal, Sinner said: "When I was 14 or 15, I went to Rome for the first time and saw him train.
It was the first time I saw him live, it was incredible. I could see his intensity... and it's still the same today. The passion is still there, so it's nice to still see it today."

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

The Italian finally analysed: "We live in the moment. When you win, you experience a positive moment; when you lose, you experience a negative moment. For me, the most important thing is how I experience this sport in general.

I surround myself with amazing people, who give me positive and honest feedback. Before the final I was nervous, it's normal; If I had lost it would still have been a great week.

I feel that every tournament I play can be a good opportunity to show that my level is still growing, that I have improved. It's something I would like to do here, this tournament is a new opportunity."

Sinner: "I hope to win a medal in Paris"

In Melbourne Sinner won his first Slam by winning the Australian Open and in Miami he took second position in the ranking, putting the top occupied by Novak Djokovic in his sights. Looking down on everyone, however, is not the only mission that Sinner will try to complete, because next summer the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be held and representing his country remains his greatest pride.

"The victory in the Davis Cup was beautiful, the team experience is not usual for us tennis players and sharing the joy of the victory was exciting.
We hope to win it again and this time with Matteo Berrettini on the court,"
he said in an interview with SportWeek.

"The Olympic medal is certainly one of the goals for 2024. I didn't feel ready for Tokyo yet. I hope to bring home a medal to give the Italians another joy and then I'm curious to see other sports, meet great champions. Maybe even talk to them to understand how they think," explained Jannik about Paris Olympics.

Sinner referred to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and his choice not to take part; a choice not well accepted by some professionals and press outlets. All decisions that have proven correct over time: not rushing the times and remaining faithful to one's growth path has done nothing but make the Italian tennis player increasingly stronger - from many points of view.

Jannik Sinner Novak Djokovic