Jannik Sinner shares a big praise for Rafael Nadal: "I'm lucky"

The Italian tennis player, on the media day of the Roland Garros, spoke about the Spanish champion, perhaps at his last Parisian Slam

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Jannik Sinner shares a big praise for Rafael Nadal: "I'm lucky"
© Clive Mason / Staff Getty Images Sport

It's time for media day at the Roland Garros. The 2024 edition is highly anticipated for various reasons, one of which is certainly the possible last French Open of the legendary 14-time champion of the tournament Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard suffered a very tough draw, which sees him pitted against the recent Italian Open winner Alexander Zverev, in a truly stellar first round, in Paris.

During the media day, the journalists asked to Jannik Sinner what it means to face Rafa on clay at Roland Garros. The Italian answered with great praise for Rafa, explaining how Jannik himself is lucky to still have Nadal in the locker room.

"I feel lucky to be here, to still be able to see him, in the locker room or in the players' restaurant, or see him train with the passion he has, it's fantastic. It's tough to play against him here. I think everyone would agree on that. But for me it was very nice, because it's a point, especially when I was younger, to see where I need to improve. These types of matches, when you play against the best players in the world, are a special feeling because you are not used to playing against the best.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

This is what I look for every week, I want to compete with the best players in the world. So you have good feedback where you have to improve. I think it's about trying to understand what makes you a better player, not only tennis-wise but also physically and mentally. He's definitely the biggest inspiration we have in our sport, isn't he? Maybe not the only one in our sport but in sport in general," he explained.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport

Also during the media day, the journalists present in the press room asked Carlos Alcaraz what his friend and rival Sinner said to him after the young Italian's hip injury.

"I wish him the best in difficult times and throughout his career. He is a really good person off the court. We have shared many good moments. We talk a bit when I see him around. When I saw the bad news of his injury, I wrote to him just to wish him a speedy recovery and I hope to see him here, because I think it's great for everyone to have the best players in the world in tournaments, to see them around. I wish him only the best during these difficult times, throughout his career, and I hope to share great moments in the future," explained Carlitos.

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner Rafael Nadal Roland Garros