Tennis Infinity Awards: ATP Most Improved Player Of The Year - Jannik Sinner

Tennis Infinity Awards: ATP Most Improved Player Of The Year - Jannik Sinner

by Nurein Ahmed

2023 was a truly memorable year for Jannik Sinner at an individual and team level, and that's why he deserves to be our Most Improved Player of the Year.

Sinner was Italy's best player by a mile, attaining the joint-highest ranking of any Italian man, and ending the country's drought for a first Davis Cup title since 1976. He was instrumental in getting the job done, besting the likes of Novak Djokovic and Alex de Minaur for the crown.

Collectively, it was superb, and individually, he was on a different level. Sinner's subtle improvements in serve, court positioning, and fitness translated to a healthy win rate in 2023. In fact, it was his personal best at 76.5% and one of the highest on tour.

Three key stats this season that make it implausible to think there was more improved player on tour than Sinner are these: most wins against world No. 1 (3), most wins against Top 5 players (10), and second-most wins against Top 10 players (13) at all levels.

Year-End Ranking: 4th

When you are growing up, one of the famous motivational quotes that serves as a memento is to run the race of life at your own pace. In the early phase of his career on tour, Jannik Sinner weathered a slow climb in the ranking, but it was all for long-term gains.

When Carlos Alcaraz made quite the splash last year, several tennis fans felt Sinner was oblivious to what was actually happening and that he was losing ground to his contemporary despite being two years older and vastly more experienced.

But 12 months on, Sinner appears firmly on an upward trajectory and seemingly on par with Carlos Alcaraz. Fittingly, Sinner also took control of their head-to-head at the China Open, earning his fourth win in seven meetings in the series.

The 22-year-old compiled a stellar year on the ATP Tour, winning 62 of his 81 matches. He is the highest-ranked Italian man in history at World No. 4 (tied with Adriano Panatta), and there is growing belief Sinner is only just getting started.

Season's Accomplishments: First Masters Title, Davis Cup Crown, Most Top 5 Wins

Sinner had previously lost in the final of a Masters tournament multiple times, but he came full circle at the Canadian Open, where he finally pinched that elusive first title. That success arrived on the back of his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon.

The San Candido native scored the most wins over Top 5 players this year thanks in part to his ability to scour for a solution to the Daniil Medvedev puzzle. Sinner recorded an impressive 10 wins against that caliber of opposition and was the only player to defeat Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and Daniil Medvedev in 2023.

Sinner fell short in his quest to land a first ATP Finals crown, but it only spurred him on to an even bigger prize. Just a week after a heart-breaking defeat to Djokovic in Turin, he exacted revenge on the Serb in the Davis Cup semifinal.

Sinner made amends by clinching the decisive rubber against Australia in the final to end Italy's long wait for a Davis Cup title, which was teetering towards 50 years.


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