Teen prodigy Jannik Sinner has turned a lot of heads recently with his results and fluid style of play. And former World No. 1 Andy Roddick believes there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to the 19-year-old's game.
Speaking to Tennis Channel ahead of the 2021 Miami Masters final, Roddick acknowledged that Jannik Sinner can be pretty erratic from the baseline. The American, however, insisted that Sinner is only going to get better with time.
"I've had a bunch of people ask me to comment on Jannik, a young Italian phenom," Roddick said. "Love what I see from him, obviously goes big on both sides, there's a lot to like. I mean he barely looks as if he has a grown-up body."
"Right now, he's only gonna get faster, he's only gonna serve bigger," the American added. "You normally see players become more consistent, maybe cut down on errors as they get older. If I'm nitpicking I think he's a little bit error-prone on his off days."
Andy Roddick also praised Jannik Sinner for his aggressive intent, but cautioned against going for too much. Sinner is someone who constantly looks to be in charge of the proceedings in a match, and Roddick admitted that that sense of urgency is one of his strong points.
"On his backhand side, you'd like to see him chuck down and keep the ball in play," Roddick said. "Just trying to force the issue over and over and over, but that's also one of his strengths. So you'd have to work on that very diligently."
I'd like to see a little bit more direction in Jannik Sinner's serve, like Pete Sampras' serve: Andy Roddick
Jannik Sinner tried hard to dictate the play in the Miami final, but his opponent Hubert Hurkacz was able to fend off his attacks and emerge victorious. One of the biggest problems from Sinner's side during the encounter was his serve; the Italian dropped about 45% of his first-serve points in the match.
While Jannik Sinner has a big first serve, many believe he should try and be more precise with his delivery in a bid to open up the court. Andy Roddick echoed that sentiment, and claimed that the Italian was playing into his opponents' hands despite serving at good speed.
"If I'm really, really nitpicking, he can pop in 125-130 mph on his serve pretty comfortably," Roddick said. "What I'd like to see is a little bit more direction, like Sampras. As I call it where you can hit it out wide and if you hit wide but it's coming straight, pretty easy to square up."
Andy Roddick then delved deeper into Pete Sampras' punishing yet efficient serve. Not only did Sampras have a huge first serve, but he could also deliver it to the desired spots - be it the center service line or the tramlines.
"You have that Pete thing where it went 108 out wide, but last minute before you guessed, it's kinda tailing away from your racquet strings," Roddick said. "It makes it a lot tougher so getting a bit of that late movement on serve would make the 130 bomb even more effective."