Sinner honors Djokovic: "One of the greatest to have played at Wimbledon"

During the media day of the London Slam, the young Italian analyzed his physical condition and talked about the legendary Serb

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Sinner honors Djokovic: "One of the greatest to have played at Wimbledon"
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

"Maybe it's not ideal for doctors and specialists who advise you to rest for 3 or 6 weeks. The longer the better so as not to risk it, but it's an individual and subjective thing. The last three days have made me optimistic that I can really play matches at the highest level. Everyone has a different response to recovery, rehabilitation, exercises. I have not had any relapses and now my intensity is very high, the knee is fine, there has been no negative reaction."

Novak Djokovic's words during the Wimbledon media day were clear: the Serb will participate in the London Major with the intention of winning and that his knee will fully recover. A few days ago Jannik Sinner tested Djokovic's athletic ability, engaging him in a training set, which ended with a result of 6-3 for the Italian, while the second set ended with the Serbian in the lead. At the Wimbledon media day, the young Italian talked about his legendary colleague. The Serb, despite having a noticeable elastic band to protect his right knee, did not hold back, demonstrating that he has now put his physical problems behind him.

"I think his knee is fine now. We only played points for 45 minutes. It's not easy to establish now what his level is. He's certainly one of the greatest to have played on these courts, and for me it's an honor to train with him," said Sinner.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Sean M. Haffey / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Also on the media day of the Wimbledon Championships, Jannik analyzed his physical condition, saying he was ready to compete in the London Slam.

"After Paris I took a few days off and then went back to work. There are no secrets. Physically I feel much better than on the eve of Roland Garros, where I arrived with some doubts. We have a lot of work in the last few days and I am ready to compete. I'm lucky because tennis was a hobby for me in the beginning and now it has become a job. In my mind, though, it's still a hobby. I love getting on the court  and playing. I know how many sacrifices I made to find myself in this position. It's always an honor to take the field and I never take anything for granted. I'm happy to be back here, the start of a very special tournament is approaching.

I'm happy with how I played last week, I'm trying to find good form on these courts to be ready. Having more confidence in yourself helps you a lot, especially on grass. Last week was a big one for me. In 2023 I reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, so I know I can play excellent tennis on this surface. Playing best of five sets is fun, because you have more opportunities to change the dynamic of a match. There are obviously more emotions but also physical problems. I think it's nice to see how a tennis player reacts in these cases. Playing five sets is part of tennis history. At the Olympics, for example, it will be played best of three sets and anything can happen," explained Jannik.

Jannik Sinner, Wimbledon 2024
Jannik Sinner, Wimbledon 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

In an interview with L'Equipe, Sinner talked in an unprecedented way about his past, when he was still a student, and like all his peers he had to get up early to go to school.

"I got up at 5 in the morning. He was far, far away. I took two trains and two buses just to get there, more than two hours on the way there, the same thing on the way back. In total, almost four and a half hours. But I never complained and I never wanted to stop, it was part of my school education and the teachers always helped me combine studies and tennis. I didn't go there very often because of the tennis tournaments. I took a lot of correspondence lessons and went there mostly for homework and exams. Also, that's where I met my best friend. In general, I wanted to learn. And it's in my nature to see the glass half full, to take the positive out of every situation. Plus, I had good grades. Luckily because my parents were controlling," he explained.

Jannik Sinner, Wimbledon 2024
Jannik Sinner, Wimbledon 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

In an interview with Sky Sport, Jannik said he was physically ready and motivated to do well, describing the atmosphere that reigns in a magical place like the All England Club.

"Personally I feel honored every time I enter this club. I feel the history of Wimbledon. I feel a little different when I am here. The courts are beautiful, the Central has a great history. The grass between Halle and Wimbledon is a little different. I'm trying to understand in these courts what works best and what works worst. I feel good physically. Coming into a grand slam feeling good for me is the most important thing. I don't have those doubts that I had at Roland Garros. On Monday I will have a very difficult first obstacle but perhaps starting again at 100% straight away is what I need. Hanfmann is a player who serves very well and when he can shoot he does it without thinking about it.

I have to be careful and try to play my game, which we still have to set up. I think day after day, it's always been my routine and it will never change. I know how many sacrifices, how many hours of training I have done and how many things I have given up in my career so far. I'm 22 years old, I'm still young, I know that I still have to improve in many aspects, from the physical to the mental part. It's all a process. Mine has just started. I will continue to work to improve myself as a person and as a player. I live in the moment a lot, now is a positive moment but everything can change in an instant. I am very calm but at the same time I feel privileged for this first position," he said.

Wimbledon
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