Jannik Sinner is now a Grand Slam champion, and thanks to it, he earned more respect from his closest rivals, at least according to the Italian.
Sinner has been considered a superb tennis talent for a long time. The Italian has been part of the top of tennis for years, but only this year did he win his maiden Grand Slam trophy.
The breakout happened in the second half of last year, with the recent Australian Open trophy being a direct consequence of that step up in play.
It put him on the map among his rivals even though they knew full well what he was capable of. He talked a bit about that in a recent interview with MARCA, admitting that he gained the respect of his peers, but they will try to outdo him now, which is why he still keeps working hard to become even better.
"They respect me more, but at the same time they know me more and they know my weaknesses more. I have to be prepared for it and that's why I train. Let's see how I react to this situation that everyone knows me."
Quite a few players have struggled to win that second Grand Slam title, but Sinner will try not to be one of them. Having great rivals will certainly help, as many legends like Novak Djokovic have talked about the positive impact rivalries can have on players.
Sinner certainly has a few of them brewing, most notably with fellow youngsters Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune.
"The majority of tennis players now are not going to have anything to lose against me and it is something different from the past because they will play with less pressure."
It's going to be interesting to see how Sinner handles the rest of this year. Expectations rose dramatically with his win at the Australian Open, and he'll now have to show whether he can live up to them.