Teen prodigy Jannik Sinner recently revealed he is planning to play doubles regularly this season. The Italian believes that will help him fine-tune both his serve and his return, and he also acknowledged that his net game is a work in progress.
Sinner struggled with his volleys during his Round-of-16 win over Roberto Bautista Agut at the Dubai Open on Wednesday, dumping several putaways into the net. When asked during his post-match press conference whether he was looking to improve his net game through doubles, the 19-year-old replied that volleys in singles matches are different from those in doubles.
Sinner claimed, instead, that playing more doubles would help other areas of his game - including the two most important shots in tennis.
"Well, you know, what our goal is this year, trying to play more doubles," Sinner said. "You know, for serve and return. Obviously, I volley as well but I think the doubles volley is a little bit different than singles one."
Jannik Sinner believes repetition is the key to success, and he intends to improve by continuing to make forays into the net - regardless of the outcome.
"But I have to improve many things, specially at the net," Sinner said. "The more you repeat, the more you can understand how to play the volleys. Today in the match I tried that, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't. But I think I'm improving, which is my main goal, and I'm happy I can play tomorrow."
Jannik Sinner is also currently competing in the Dubai men's doubles draw, having teamed up with Poland's Hubert Hurkacz. Sinner and Hurkacz won via retirement in their opener, and will next face Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the last eight.
The pair had first joined forces in Adelaide earlier this year, where they won two matches before losing in the quarterfinals.
"I'm excited to get to know him on court" - Jannik Sinner on Dubai quarterfinal opponent Aslan Karatsev
Jannik Sinner has been made to work hard in his matches atn Dubai, having gone three sets against both Roberto Bautista Agut and Alexander Bublik. He will now face Aslan Karatsev - who reached the semifinals of the 2021 Australian Open - in what will likely be another difficult match-up for the teen.
Sinner acknowledged the threat that Karatsev poses, but insisted that he was excited to face the Russian on the pro tour for the first time.
"Next match is a tough one, he (Karatsev) is in confidence," Jannik Sinner replied when asked about his quarterfinal opponent. "He was playing very, very great at Australia, an incredible run. And as I said, now he is in confidence and very tough to beat. So I think it's going to be a very different match today. Big server, playing very very fast. I'm excited to get to know him."
"We never practiced in a tournament together, maybe 4-5 years ago in Future events," Sinner added. "So you know, some things change. How he's playing, how I'm playing."