Sinner's Progression Best Since Djokovic According To Former World No. 1

Sinner's Progression Best Since Djokovic According To Former World No. 1

by Zachary Wimer

Jannik Sinner has been amazing in the past few months, and according to former ATP world number one Mats Wilander, it's the best progression he's seen since Novak Djokovic.

Sinner has been around for a while because the Italian made his Grand Slam debut back in 2019, just days after turning 18. One year later, at age 19, he would win his maiden trophy in Sofia, after which he slowly established himself as one of the more solid players on the ATP Tour.

His progression after that was slow compared to some other players like Carlos Alcaraz, but that changed in 2023. He played seven finals in 2023, which matched all the finals he played up until that point, and won four of those.

He added three more this year, including the Miami Open recently, so he won more than half of his career trophies in the past 12 months. That's been impressive to see, and former number one Wilander noted as much in his talk with Eurosport.

"He's improved a lot in the last year, but in the last three months, I think the tactical part of his tennis has improved to the point where he's not taking any risks anymore. He plays fast. He's trying to hit winners most of the time, but he's just playing within himself."

"I think that any surface is going to be his best surface. I think it doesn't depend on grass, hard courts, or even clay courts. I think when he feels good and he's confident, he knows his game is going to stand up to any player on tour, even if that's their best surface."

He certainly looked impressive on hard courts, but Wilander's hypothesis will be tested in the coming months. He's always been quite solid on clay, but this year's clay season will be a huge one for Sinner.

He has big goals at Roland Garros and the Olympics, and he will want to bring the same dominance to that surface. The improvement itself reminded Wilander of Djokovic.

"It's an incredible improvement, an improvement that I don't think I've seen in a young player since the ‘Big 3,’ when Novak Djokovic went from being a normal player to understanding: ‘I am better than these guys. If I play close to my best, I can just play my game.’ That's the improvement Jannik Sinner has made."


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