Former World No. 4 Richard Krajicek recently shared his thoughts about Jannik Sinner's Australian Open win, underpinning two key results that swung the pendulum in his direction.
Krajicek remains the only Dutchman to win a Grand Slam, achieving this monumental feat in 1996 at Wimbledon. He defeated eight-time champion Pete Sampras en route to the title. After his official retirement in 2003, he was appointed Rotterdam Open tournament director the following year.
Rotterdam will be the scene of the first ATP 500 event of 2024, and which will be Jannik Sinner's first tournament after his historic win in Melbourne. For Krajicek, having Sinner as part of the main draw for a second year in a row is an honor.
In an exclusive interview with Ubitennis, the 52-year-old commented on the Italians' chances of triumphing in Rotterdam for the first time, especially after losing last year's final. If he is fit, he will be the man to beat.
"Well, of course there’s a feeling that Sinner can win, he’s playing great tennis, last year he only lost in the final to Medvedev in a great battle and this year Medvedev isn’t participating anyway, he just beat him at the Australian Open. If he is physically fit, as I hope, let’s see."
Sinner's wins over defending champion Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open sent shockwaves all over the tennis world. But Krajicek was not overly surprised that his Australian Open success happened in the manner in which it did.
In fact, the 17-time ATP titlist opined that Sinner's wins over Medvedev in the Vienna final and Djokovic at the Davis Cup (in which he saved three successive match points) at the end of last season proved decisive, explaining how he improved steadily to become a Grand Slam champion.
"He improved a lot, I think it was clear with the victory in Vienna and the match in Davis Cup against Djokovic where he won with three match points against him. For me these two matches made it clear that he could win a slam."
Sinner will play his first match at the 2024 Rotterdam Open either on Tuesday or Wednesday against home player Botic van de Zandschulp. The Italian beat the Dutchman in straight sets in the first round of this year's Australian Open.