Maria Sharapova: "I'm always rooting for Jannik Sinner, I just like his humble approach to the sport"
Maria Sharapova recently disclosed that Jannik Sinner is her favourite player to watch from the younger generation on the ATP.
Speaking on "The Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast", Sharapova revealed how she had first met Sinner, as they both had Riccardo Piatti as a coach.
She then admitted that she always roots for the Italian in matches and also heaped praise on him for his down-to-earth nature.
"You know, the last coach of my career coached Sinner for several years, so I got to play with him a few times. So, you know, I'm always rooting for him. I just like his humble approach to the sport," she said.
Sharapova, meanwhile, had first teamed up with Jannik Sinner's former coach Riccardo Piatti in August 2019. Piatti, who also worked with Novak Djokovic in the Serb's teenage years, was a part of her team for nearly a year before the Russian called time on her career in 2020.
During the podcast, Maria Sharapova also asserted that the Next Generation on the men's tour deserves high praise for what they have to offer.
"I love seeing the younger generation. There's an aura about the men's game, it's very evident. They have different styles of play, different personalities, from different parts of the world, and it's just fun to see these rivalries come together. I think the men's game is in a good state," she said.
Jannik Sinner admires Maria Sharapova's mentality, picks her as his dream doubles partner
Jannik Sinner previously claimed that Maria Sharapova had an "incredible mindset" while expressing delight at having met her. He also mentioned how they had practiced together several times.
"Of course, the mentality. She had an incredible mindset. I was lucky to get to know her a little bit more," Sinner told the media in 2022. "We practiced also a couple of times together on the court. She is a very special person, I think. And what she has done for the sport is also great. Yeah, I think I was just lucky to get to know her."
Interestingly, the Italian also picked the five-time Major winner as his ideal mixed doubles partner during a segment with Tennis Channel in 2022. He said:
"I never thought about that. I am not a great doubles player. I got to know Maria Sharapova and I think she is one of the greatest champions."