February 28, 2024

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Once a promising skating talent, now in a Grand Slam final: the rise of Jannik Sinner (22), who started against the Belgian

Once a promising skating talent, now in a Grand Slam final: the rise of Jannik Sinner (22), who started against the Belgian

With his first-place finish in a Grand Slam final, the whole world now knows his name. Jannik Sinner (22) has unofficially sent home favorite Novak Djokovic for the Australian Open. The dream he never dared to dream as a young Italian skater is almost coming true. The story of his steep rise that began against David Goffin.

He is 22 years old and has amazing statistics at the highest level.

At the beginning of his career, Jannik Sinner had already reached the quarterfinals in every Grand Slam tournament. The 22-year-old Italian reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year and became ranked fourth in the world.

This year's Australian Open went even further.

He is the first Italian to reach the final. So bravely. Sinner has only lost one set in this tournament – to Novak Djokovic, although he was never able to force a break point.

Daniil Medvedev has already been warned.

From bars to strings

However, it is a mistake to think that the young Italian was born for tennis.

The sinner comes from South Tyrol. From 8 to 12 years old, he participated in the Youth Alpine Skiing Championships. Successfully.

Father Johan and mother Sieglinde – a chef and waitress at a restaurant in the Val Fiscalina ski area – predicted a great future for their son.

I just felt more passionate about ball sports. Initially, preference was given to football, then tennis, from the age of 13 to “the sport where a mistake means the end of the match,” according to Sinner.

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This doesn't mean that an adult tennis player has hung up the bars forever. No, in his spare time he always makes time to skateboard, with or without champion Lindsey Vonn.

But the tennis monster had Sinner in his grip during his teenage years, making him firmly choose his career.

That match first resonated – especially for Belgian fans – on September 27, 2020. Then he showed David Goffin every corner of the clay court during his Roland Garros debut.

“I'm a little late,” he said to himself. Although friend and foe will doubt it.

Powerful serves, powerful backhands and an athletic 1.88m frame have become the essential ingredients for the journey to the top 10 in the world.

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Step up

In Darren Cahill, Sinner has a coach with the charisma and talent to make players much better.

Dirk Gerlo

It also comes as no surprise to Dirk Gerlo that Sinner will reach his first Grand Slam final this year. The step to the top came after excellent guidance.

“In Darren Cahill, he has a coach with the charisma and talent to make players much better,” says our tennis commentator. “He has done it in the past with champions like Andre Agassi and Simona Halep.”

The “Carrot Man” – a nickname beloved by fans for his distinctive head of hair – also wins off the field.

For example, he launched the “What Got You Moved” campaign on social media, in which he discusses mental health. During the Corona pandemic, there was a #SinnerPizzaChallenge, where he donated €10 each time to hospitals in exchange for photos of pizzas that looked like him.

This has already made the Italian a great champion, so will his first Grand Slam win come soon?

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