Andy Roddick believes Jannik Sinner is one of the most promising names in men’s tennis at the moment. After observing Sinner’s stellar progress throughout 2020, Roddick pointed out that the Italian is blessed with a generous amount of raw power which will only get more effective with age.
Roddick also revealed that Sinner reminds him of Robin Soderling - a player renowned for his devastating power off both wings.
Jannik Sinner was one of the brightest spots on the ATP tour last year, where he reached his maiden Slam quarterfinal (Roland Garros). The 19-year-old followed that up with his first ever ATP tour title, at Sofia.
Sinner has thus emulated Andy Roddick's feat of winning his first title as a teenager. Roddick had won the now-defunct Verizon Tennis Challenge in Atlanta as an 18-year-old.
During a recent conversation on Tennis Channel, Andy Roddick spoke in glowing terms about the 19-year-old Jannik Sinner. The American highlighted Sinner's standout qualities, and asserted that the Italian is destined for great things in the future.
"He (Jannik Sinner) can create the amount of speed and pace off his both wings," Roddick said. "He has knockout power on both sides with half the body. Once he grows into himself and gets out of the awkward, lanky phase (he will get better). He reminds me of a Robin Soderling type player but may move slightly better. This guy’s a big, big deal."
Robin Soderling had a similarly lean and wiry physical structure as Jannik Sinner, but had almost superhuman power in his upper torso. The Swede could unleash crushing winners off both wings with a certain effortlessness, much the way Sinner does.
Andy Roddick went on to explain why it is crucial for the young Jannik Sinner to bulk up. Roddick cited the Italian’s dramatic collapse against Karen Khachanov at the US Open, where he lost from two sets to love up.
"I mean the only downside that I have seen from the last year is that - I’ll use his match from the USO against Karen Khachanov to make this point," Roddick continued. "He was a better player, he was hitting a bigger ball than someone who is kind of a physical specimen but his body just gave up."
Jannik Sinner goes out and wins matches that he’s expected to win: Andy Roddick
Andy Roddick also showered praise on Jannik Sinner’s showing at Roland Garros and Sofia. The American was particularly impressed by the fact that Sinner made his breakthrough on clay rather than his comfort zone of quicker surfaces.
The teenager's ability to win matches in which he's the favorite is another thing that makes Roddick believe he has a bright future ahead of him.
"When you see people go on to win Slams later in their career, they are winning tournaments at 18 or 19 years old," Roddick said. "We’re not celebrating like individual wins, winning in your backyard in Milan on a fast surface. Going to battle and making your first Grand Slam quarterfinal on a slow claycourt surface in Paris last year at Roland Garros, that shows a lot. The biggest thing for me, he goes out and wins matches that he’s expected to win, that’s how you make a career."