John McEnroe warns Jannik Sinner: "He risks being crushed"

The former American champion explained what risks the young Italian faces as ATP No.1

by Lorenzo Ciotti
John McEnroe warns Jannik Sinner: "He risks being crushed"
© Clive Mason / Staff Getty Images Sport

Wealth, Fame and Power. Let's also add the resulting pressure and media attention, which not everyone knows how to handle. These are not the words that Gol D. Roger left as a last testament to the pirates of the Eichiro Oda's manga One Piece, but they condense what a young tennis player like Jannik Sinner has to face, especially now that he is ATP No.1. And that are a lot of things to face, considering he's only a young player. With a super strong mental side, but always a young player.

The Former tennis legend John McEnroe believes that the ATP No.1 position can crush a tennis player if he is not used to dealing with fame and pressure.  In an interview with Italian media Corriere Della Sera, McEnroe highlighted how fame and glory can be a double-edged sword.

"Italy is a country I know well. Italians are passionate and emotional like me, while Jannik is serious and staid. Becoming No.1 in your country is a potentially disruptive role, you had a taste of it with Berrettini at Wimbledon. With what generosity will Sinner want to give himself to a starving country? He repeats that he is only focused on improvements. I'm curious to find out. Because the ATP No.1 is not an easy position to handle, in fact. The pressure is always on him , everyone pulling at your jacket. Where does Sinner usually rest in Italy? Does he know that he will have to go around escorted? Is he a silent and reserved type, who likes to travel under the radar? Italian enthusiasm. I wish him to have fun in the role of leader, to give himself some room for maneuver, otherwise the ATP No.1 risks crushing him," said the former American legend, warning the young Italian of the dangers he runs.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Clive Mason / Staff Getty Images Sport

McEnroe also admitted that he would have liked to coach the young Italian, but that he would not have been available to follow him full-time. However, Darren Cahill's choice remains excellent for him.

"I liked the idea, I would have been available to travel 10-12 weeks a year, not full time. Nothing came of it and that's fine: Cahill is doing a fantastic job, he deserves the Hall of Fame as coach. After Agassi, Hewitt and Halep, Jannik is the fourth tennis player he brings to the top. The numbers speak for themselves: Sinner has chosen the best," he told.

Sinner recently achieved a historic result for Italian tennis. The first position in the ATP ranking is something that generates great emotions, which no one has ever been able to touch before. The Italian is experiencing an extraordinary moment of form. A period which, however, lasted for several months and which saw him win extremely prestigious tournaments, first and foremost the Australian Open.

Jannik SInner
Jannik SInner© Clive Brunskill / Staff Gettyb Images Sport

But not only McEnroe's words. As I reported to you yesterday, former German tennis player Boris Becker also gave an interview to the Italian media Gazzetta dello Sport, in which he also warned Jannik about the potential dangers he faces.

"I feel sorry for Novak Djokovic for his retirement but I am also a big fan of Sinner, I have been constantly following him closely for at least two years. I know him very well and the number one is not a surprise for me at all. Jannik has a mentality strong and learns quickly like all the great champions. He is Number 1 at just 22 years old. A good record, but let's avoid making comparisons, to be there - in this exclusive club - you have to be really special. A bit like other Italian champions. His life was turned upside down with the victory in the Davis Cup and the Australian Open, he had already made history there. Now he has to learn one thing since he is number one, everyone will want a piece of Sinner, becoming number one is difficult but maintaining it is even more difficult. From now on he will have to be perfect, from his mentality to his physical condition. Sinner's real rival given his age is Carlos Alcaraz. Sinner is a normal boy like everyone else, it's the fault of social networks that amplify everything," told the German coach.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Clive Brunskill / Staff getty Images Sport

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