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"His name is Rafael Nadal" - Riccardo Piatti reveals Jannik Sinner's practice partner during Australian Open quarantine

Jannik Sinner and Rafael Nadal at the French Open
Jannik Sinner and Rafael Nadal at the French Open
Modified 19 Dec 2020, 17:55 IST

Rising Italian teenager Jannik Sinner will train with 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal during the first week of quarantine ahead of the 2021 Australian Open.

Tennis Australia confirmed the schedule for the Australian Open on Saturday, and the tournament is set to begin on 8 February. Players will need to spend two weeks in quarantine upon arriving in Melbourne, during which they will be able to spend five hours a day outside their rooms for training and practice.

During the first week of quarantine, players have to practice with the same player throughout. In the second week, two pairs will be combined to make it a group of four for practice.

Jannik Sinner's coach Riccardo Piatti recently revealed the identity of his ward's designated partner during the first week - which is none other than Rafael Nadal. Piatti added that Nadal and Sinner will combine with Stan Wawrinka and Diego Schwartzman in the second week for their training.

"Of course I do. We have already agreed. His name is Rafael Nadal," Piatti replied when asked who they would partner in Melbourne. "In the first week we agree with Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal. In the second week, when each pair of players can join another, we made an agreement with Stan Wawrinka and Diego Schwartzman."

Piatti believes that partnering with a 20-time Grand Slam champion like Rafael Nadal will be an incredible learning experience for the young Sinner.

"I believe that for Jannik Sinner being able to see (and experience in turn) the preparation for a Grand Slam of (some)one who has won 20 is a fundamental experience," Piatti added.

Jannik Sinner will play two ATP tournaments before the Australian Open

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner

Riccardo Piatti also revealed the young Italian's schedule for the first part of the season. Jannik Sinner will start his 2021 campaign at the ATP 250 event in Antalya, before setting off for Melbourne.


After the end of his two-week quarantine, Sinner will compete in one of the two makeshift ATP 250 events scheduled in Melbourne, followed by the Australian Open.

"Jannik Sinner needs to play, play matches," Piatti said. "He's been training for a long time, he's training well. Now the more he can play games, the better."

Sinner is currently No. 37 in the world, and is the youngest player in the top 100 of the ATP rankings. The teenager reached the second round of the Australian Open in 2020 and will be hoping to do better in 2021.

Published 19 Dec 2020, 17:55 IST
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