Sinner Within A Millimeter Of Djokovic Says Italian Tennis Great Panatta

Sinner Within A Millimeter Of Djokovic Says Italian Tennis Great Panatta

by Nurein Ahmed

Former World No. 4 Adriano Panatta believes countryman Jannik Sinner has inched closer than ever to match Novak Djokovic's level of play thanks to his Davis Cup success a week ago.

Sinner became the first player to defeat Djokovic in a Davis Cup singles rubber in 21 matches, a streak that had been intact for 12 years. What made the victory even sweeter was the manner in which it happened.

Sinner saved three successive match points down the stretch before pulling the rabbit out of the hat. That victory earned him immense plaudits back home and denied Djokovic the dream season he so desperately craved when he arrived at the event.

The 22-year-old became just the fourth man to consign Djokovic to defeat after holding match points and backed up his most recent win over the Serbian in Turin where he also snapped another streak - 19 matches since Djokovic last fell on the ATP Tour.

That win over Djokovic in Malaga was critical as Italy drew level in the tie and ended up winning the decisive doubles rubber where Sinner also had a big part to play in beating Djokovic again. After securing passage into the final, Sinner & Co. made their moment count as they ended Italy's 47-year drought to win the Davis Cup over Australia.

Panatta, who was highly critical of Sinner just a few months ago when he rejected a call-up to Italy's Davis Cup team, savored the nicest words to say about a man who could surpass his own tennis accomplishments.

While Novak Djokovic remains the undisputed King of men's tennis, the 73-year-old has tipped his hat for Sinner and opined that he is within spitting distance to match Djokovic in terms of match play. Additionally, he stated that Sinner will have the edge the next time they play because Djokovic will "fear" the matchup.

"Jannik has now come within a millimeter of Novak Djokovic, (at the Davis Cup) they play on equal terms. Canceling three match points is a feat within a feat, next time Jannik will start with an advantage: the Serbian fears it."

Panatta as quoted on


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