Tennis-Beating the 'Big Three' is a mental challenge, says Sinner

  • Tennis
  • Tuesday, 08 Jun 2021

Jun 7, 2021; Paris, France; Jannik Sinner (ITA) in action during his match against Rafael Nadal (ESP) on day nine of the French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS (Reuters) - Jannik Sinner has been hailed as the future of tennis, but the Italian teenager was handed another masterclass by the old guard in the form a 7-5 6-3 6-0 defeat by Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

The 19-year-old Sinner, seeded 18th in Paris, said that beating one of the 'Big Three' - Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer - was a mental challenge.

Sinner led Nadal 5-3 in the opening set but just when it looked like he could be the first player in two years to take a set off the 13-time French Open champion at Roland Garros, the door slammed shut and Nadal went 7-5 4-0 up.

According to Sinner, winning the opening set would have not meant much anyway.

"Maybe I would have won the first set, but you still have to win two more sets, so the way is long. I think mentally he's very strong. That's what I'm trying to do, as well, staying strong. I'm trying to don't give him any free space," he said.

"Obviously when you play against top guys like him, Rafa, Roger, or Novak, it's tough to play against them because they are very strong mentally, which I think we have seen today as well. Novak against Lorenzo (Musetti), coming back from two sets to love," he added, referring to fellow teenager and compatriot Musetti's collapse after winning the first two sets against world number one Djokovic.

Now it's back to the drawing board for Sinner.

"I'm excited to play against him, because it's a huge test. On the other hand, today's match gives me the answer that I already knew, that the way is still very long," he said.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Tennis

Tennis-Spain's Verdasco handed two-month doping ban
Tennis-Former U.S. Open champion Raducanu receives MBE from king
Tennis-U.S. Davis Cup captain Fish, coach Bryan fined for bet promotion
Felix flexes muscles
Tennis-Auger-Aliassime shines as Canada win first Davis Cup title
Tennis-Nadal says 'a part of his life left' when Federer retired
Tennis-Canada down Italy to set up Davis Cup final showdown with Australia
Tennis-Coric downs Kokkinakis to give Croatia 1-0 lead in Davis Cup semis
Tennis-Italy stun United States to reach Davis Cup semi-finals
Tennis-Croatia beat hosts Spain 2-0 to reach Davis Cup semi-finals

Others Also Read