Comparing Jannik Sinner To Tennis' All-Time Greats Is Unfair, Says Coach Cahill - UBITENNIS
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Comparing Jannik Sinner To Tennis’ All-Time Greats Is Unfair, Says Coach Cahill



It is without a doubt that Jannik Sinner is currently the most in-form player on the ATP Tour but one of his mentors has warned against generating too much hype. 

The 22-year-old is the only player so far in 2024 to win a trio of ATP titles, which includes the Australian Open. His latest achievement was at the Miami Open where he dismantled Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to win the tournament. As a result, Sinner has risen to No.2 in the rankings which is the highest-ever position achieved by an Italian man in ATP history. 

Since the start of the season, Sinner has won 22 out of 23 matches played with his only loss being in the semi-finals of Indian Wells to Carlos Alcaraz. He is the first player to win both the Australian Open and Miami titles within the same season since Roger Federer in 2017. Sinner’s surge in recent months has elevated him to the limelight with some speculating that he could go on to become one of the sport’s most dominant players.   

However, coach Darren Cahill has warned against comparing Sinner with other heavyweights of the sport such as the Big Three. A group of players that consists of Novak Djokovic (who Sinner has beaten in three out of their four most recent meetings), Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

“I don’t think anybody should be comparing this generation yet to the generation that we have just seen with Novak, Federer and Nadal. What they were able to achieve for so many years is remarkable.” Cahill told reporters on Sunday.
I don’t think we will ever see that domination again no matter what. What you are seeing with the players coming through now is a direct result of their professionalism, of the teams they put together, the way they have tried to inch out every piece of improvement in each of their games.”

Cahill has a wealth of experience in the sport. A former US Open semi-finalist, he has worked with Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Andy Murray and Simona Halep. The Australian joined Sinner’s team in 2022 and works alongside his other coach Simone Vagnozzi.

“I wouldn’t start comparing what Carlos or Jannik or Holger (Rune) or these types of players are doing just yet to the generation prior, because I think that’s unfair,” he continued.
“They need time to establish themselves. But the level is right up there, and it’s a good level, but they need to win a lot more before you start comparing them to those boys.”

Dimitrov weighs in on debate

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Cahill’s view is supported by 32-year-old Dimitrov who has played alongside the Big Three throughout his career. The Bulgarian knows what it is like to be compared to some of the sport’s biggest stars with him being famously nicknamed ‘baby Fed’ due to the similarities in his game style with the Swiss maestro. 

“At the moment Jannik is playing outstanding tennis. There is nothing to say to that.” Said Dimitrov.
“You see how focused he is, how determined he is, the way he’s hitting his shots, there is zero doubt, so a lot of that level, it’s extremely high up.
“I don’t feel the need to compare him to any other player for that matter. Can he play any better? I don’t know. He’s the one to show that. But at the moment he’s been able to put so many matches back to back with the same level, so all credit goes to him. And he is the best player right now in the world.”

Dimitrov, who has returned to the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2018, was more precise when asked about who was the toughest player he has ever faced on the Tour. 

“The toughest player that I have played at his absolute prime was Roger (Federer). I remember a few times even at Wimbledon, once I remember it was just — I wanted to dig a hole and disappear. I haven’t had that feeling yet against anyone else. That’s probably going to be the player I suffered the most with.” He replied. 

Dimitrov lost seven out of eight matches against Federer on the Tour with his only victory being in their final meeting at the 2019 US Open. 

Sinner focuses on the present

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As for Sinner himself, his motto continues to be working to improve his game further and not to take his surge in success for granted. His attention now switches to the clay swing which includes his home tournament at the Rome Masters and the French Open. 

He has won 13 ATP titles so far in his career but only one of those was on clay at the 2022 Croatia Open. 

“When you win, you realise that it’s really special, like this [Miami title],” he said. “But it’s a moment. You live this moment, and then you’re happy and then you fly to Cincinnati and the day after you play again.
“So there is not so much time to enjoy this. That’s what I feel like I have improved a lot. After [winning the title in] Australia, I live these moments, three or four days, and then after, I get back to work. It was the same in Rotterdam and it’s the same here because you don’t have time to enjoy.
“So this is also how I am because maybe there are players who enjoy a little bit for longer. Me, I know that I don’t have so much time to prepare for Monaco, so this is now obviously the next goal, trying to get confident with the clay.”

Sinner’s next tournament will be the Monte Carlo Masters. He is currently 1115 points behind Djokovic in the ATP PIF rankings. 


Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon



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Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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