"Jannik Sinner will win a Grand Slam; players like him are not born every year" - Filippo Volandri

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner

Italian Davis Cup captain Filippo Volandri recently claimed his countryman Jannik Sinner is a rare talent, and that players like him don't come around very often.

Filippo Volandri is a former World No. 25 who won two ATP singles titles in his career. The 39-year-old was named the David Cup captain for Italy earlier this year, taking over from Corrado Barazzutti.

Jannik Sinner, meanwhile, is one of the fastest rising stars in men's tennis. The 19-year-old has been touted by many as a potential Grand Slam winner and future World No. 1.

Sinner is currently ranked 34th in the world, just two spots below his career-best ranking of No. 32. Having turned pro in 2018, the Italian has already claimed two ATP singles titles and also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open.

"Jannik Sinner is a boy who is forging ahead thanks to hard work and clear ideas," Volandri stated in a recent interview. "It will be required to give him the necessary time for improvement."

During the interview, Volandri was also asked if Sinner could go beyond the achievements of Italian tennis legend Adriano Pannatta. Panatta is the last male Italian player to win a Grand Slam singles title, having triumphed at the French Open in 1976.

Panatta peaked at No. 4 in the world rankings, and is the only player to have beaten Swedish legend Bjorn Borg twice at Roland Garros.

"Fourth in the world? Even beyond, his coach says so," Volandri responded. "He will be able to win a Grand Slam; players like Jannik Sinner are not born every year."

Jannik Sinner would be hoping to return to form in Marseille next week

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner

Jannik Sinner claimed his first ATP singles title at the Sofia Open at the end of 2020. Following his quarantine in Adelaide - where he actted as the practice partner of Rafael Nadal - Sinner began the 2021 season with a bang as well.

The Italian won the Great Ocean Road Open in early February, extending his winning streak to 10 matches. But with fatigue catching up, Sinner went down to Denis Shapovalov in a five-set thriller at the very first hurdle of the Australian Open.

He also suffered a first-round exit last week in Montpellier, where he lost in three sets to Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene. Following that, Sinner pulled out of this week's ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam due to a back injury.

He is now scheduled to compete at the Open 13 ATP event in Marseille next week, hoping to regain his early-season form.