Teen prodigy Jannik Sinner turned in an erratic performance in the Miami Open final on Sunday, losing to Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets. And in the aftermath of the defeat, Sinner suggested he was largely in control of the proceedings but made one mistake too many.
Jannik Sinner had a nervy start in the opening set, before settling into his rhythm and eventually breaking for a 6-5 lead. But that was as far as he would get; the Italian was broken back immediately, before Hurkacz nabbed the tiebreaker with some sharp play.
When asked about his untimely errors during his post-match press conference, Sinner rued the fact that he didn't get enough balls back in play on the crucial points.
"I was dictating the game, but I made mistakes," Sinner said. "Maybe if I put in the (ball) at 30-30, when he was serving 4-3 and 5-4, maybe we are still there to play. I missed that, but I think for me today is a tough day to be honest because losing the final here for me is not easy."
Jannik Sinner then claimed he had been 'deciding' how every match of his would go during the week. The Italian acknowledged that things didn't go his way in the final, but expressed satisfaction that he was able to play his game throughout the tournament.
"I was deciding the whole week what to do with the ball and for that I'm happy," Sinner said. "Today it went the wrong way, today you either win or you learn. I'm playing finals here at 19 years, obviously it's tough and I wanted to win and I was a bit nervous from the beginning. Today was not my day."
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic & Dominic Thiem were not playing, it was a big opportunity: Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner knew the Miami Masters this year was a relatively open tournament, and he had been thinking big right from the outset. In that context, the Italian rued the missed opportunity to win a career-first Masters 1000 title, especially given the absence of the 'Big 3' and Dominic Thiem.
"I came here with the mentality to win," Sinner said. "We knew that Rafa, Roger, Novak, Thiem were not playing, I think it was a big opportunity for many players. So you know, we came here trying to win match after match in the right way."
The 19-year-old added that he had tried many different things to upstage his opponents during the tournament, which had helped him stay on top of things on his route to the championship match.
"Trying to go to the net, trying to make the game, to move my opponent," Sinner said. "Every single match had this story, so how I managed to win every match. Today, not. But I think I can learn many things from the match."
"Next Generation is not ready yet to win against Big 3 consistently" - Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner was also asked his thoughts about the performance of the Next Gen at the Miami Open. In response, the Italian quipped that while his generation have started to exhibit their abilities more frequently, they are yet to show that they can beat the trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer regularly.
"I think the Next Generation is fun to watch, first of all," Jannik Sinner said. "Because many players don't know each other that well. Many fans don't know that well, here a lot of players were in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final today was Next Generation."
"But the Next Gen still has to show they can beat the Big 3," he added. "Because maybe they lose one or two matches but the Next Generation, what I see is, not ready yet to win against them consistently."