Jannik Sinner - ‘We Thought It Wasn't Serious, Then The MRI Saw That Something Was Wrong’ - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner – ‘We Thought It Wasn’t Serious, Then The MRI Saw That Something Was Wrong’

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Jannik Sinner - Roma 2024 (foto Giampiero Sposito/FITP)

Jannik Sinner admits he is unable to confirm if he will be playing at the French Open due to a hip injury which appears to be more troublesome than initially thought. 

The world No.2 first shed light on his latest injury setback during the Madrid Open when he was seen touching his hip area during one of his matches. A couple of days later he withdrew from the tournament due to medical advice which warned that continuing to play could worsen his problem. Now he has been forced to also pull out of his home tournament. 

Speaking to reporters in Rome on Sunday, Sinner opened up about his injury but remains reluctant to reveal the exact issue he is facing. 

“Before Madrid I was feeling better, it was a strange situation. With (against) (Pavel) Kotov I felt quite a bit of pain. The day before the match with (Karen) Khachanov was better, but I knew something was wrong,” he said. 
“We had an MRI in Madrid and there was something wrong. In Monte Carlo, we did other tests and took this decision. It’s not easy because Rome is a special tournament. I have to accept it even if it hurts, both for me and for the fans. I’m 22 years old, I hope to play another 10 years in Rome.”

The issue comes after what has been a blistering start to the season by Sinner who claimed his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open before going on to win further trophies in Rotterdam and Miami. So far this year, he has only been beaten twice by Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo and Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells. 

Sinner concedes that his schedule might have contributed towards his hip problem as he ponders making changes in the future. Including the possibility of not playing in one of the Tour’s most prominent clay court events. 

“We have to manage the situations better, understand next year whether it’s worth playing Monte Carlo or not. We can’t be perfect. I would like to play in all the tournaments,” he said.

As for the near future, the 22-year-old admits his participation at the French Open is in doubt with the tournament starting later this month. Roland Garros was the first major event where he reached the quarter-finals back in 2020. Since then, he has reached the fourth round on two other occasions before losing in the second round last year. 

“I won’t play for a while. From next week we’ll decide a few things,” Sinner explained.
“The preparation for Paris will not be optimal, but with my team we will do our best to be competitive. Arriving in Paris without matches in Rome is not easy, this tournament is important in view of Roland Garros.
“I’ve never had many physical problems when changing surfaces. I’m careful with my movements, we’re doing some low-intensity work. We’ll have answers in a week. I’ll play in Paris if I’m 100%.”

Whatever the outcome is regarding his presence at the French Open, Sinner has his sights set on becoming an even better player when he is back to full fitness. 

“I hope to come back as soon as possible and stronger than before,” he concluded. 

Full translation of Sinner’s press conference with the media in Rome

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

The president of the Italian Tennis Federation, Angelo Binaghi: “I thank Jannik for coming here. For Sinner it is a difficult moment, his phone call yesterday came as a shock. I thought the issue had been solved. I was in a meeting, I saw Jannik’s call and I didn’t have the strength to call him back for half an hour. It was going to be his feast, but once again he has made the right choice. This is thanks to his excellent team, probably the best possible. I repeat what I said in another difficult moment, during the Davis Cup: his goal is medium-term. Continuity is not winning an important tournament like the Internazionali di Roma or a Davis group. His choice, however painful, was the right one. Now we have to start again, stronger than before”

Q: When did the hip problem emerge?

SINNER – “Before Madrid I was feeling better, it was a strange situation. With Kotov I felt quite a bit of pain. The day before the match with Khachanov was better, but I knew something was wrong. We had an MRI in Madrid and there was something wrong. In Monte-Carlo, we did other tests and took this decision. It’s not easy because Rome is a special tournament. I have to accept it even if it hurts, both for me and for the fans. I’m 22 years old, I hope to play another 10 years in Rome.”

Q: If you were to look at the glass half full, what’s a good thing?

SINNER – “The glass is quite full considering what we have achieved during this season. There will also be difficult times in the future. Some injuries can be prevented, others cannot. We’ve done a great job so far. Last year I didn’t have any injuries. And neither this year so far. Let’s learn and move on. We have to manage the situations better and understand next year whether it’s worth playing Monte-Carlo or not. We can’t be perfect. I would like to play in all the tournaments, I was the first to say to try in Rome as well. I don’t see it as a defeat.”

Q: What have you learnt from this? Do you think you’ve made any mistakes?

SINNER – “I don’t know. Rest is very important, also for the mental part. After Monte-Carlo, I didn’t touch a racket for five days. When I arrived in Madrid I felt good, but then the situation got worse. I’m pretty confident.”

Q: What is your schedule for the next few weeks?

SINNER – “I won’t play for a while. From next week we’ll decide a few things. The preparation for Paris will not be optimal, but with my team we will do our best to be competitive. Arriving in Paris without matches in Rome is not easy, this tournament is important in view of Roland Garros”

Q: How confident do you feel about being able to play Paris?

SINNER – “So far, I’ve never had many physical problems when changing surfaces. I’m careful with my movements, we’re doing some low-intensity work. We’ll have answers in a week. I’ll play in Paris if I’m 100%.”

Q: Which is the most important event of the season for you?

SINNER – “It was Rome, all the games I can play in Italy are special. I’m in a good position for Turin, my goal is to be there.”

Q: What is your injury? Can you explain?

SINNER – “I don’t want to go into details. We thought it wasn’t anything serious, then with the MRI we saw that something was wrong. The situation is under control, I’ll stop a little longer if I don’t recover 100%. I don’t want to throw away years of my career in the future, I’m in no hurry.”

Q: If you were to look back, are there any mistakes you wouldn’t make again?

SINNER – “We did everything well, we took some days off after Monte-Carlo, which we needed in view of Madrid. We trained to build up form for Rome and Paris. We did everything correctly, if I should go back I wouldn’t know what to do better or differently. I haven’t suffered any injuries for a long time, I hope to come back as soon as possible and stronger than before.”

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

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The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

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