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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic all feature in Jannik Sinner's 'perfect player'

Jannik Sinner and Rafael Nadal at the French Open
Jannik Sinner and Rafael Nadal at the French Open
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 29 Dec 2020, 12:17 IST
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Jannik Sinner is one of the most promising young players on the men's side right now, with many tipping him to be a future World No. 1 and Grand Slam champion. But if given a chance, the Italian would like to borrow some shots from arguably the three greatest players of all time - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Sinner was recently asked one of the most common questions that has been put forth to tennis players over the years - what would his 'perfect player' look like? In response, the 19-year-old picked the serve of a giant American, as well as the three most famous weapons of the Big 3.

Jannik Sinner first mentioned the serve of John Isner, who has sent down the second highest aces on the ATP tour (which began tracking the data since 1991). Rafael Nadal's mindset, which is often described as the toughest in the men's game, is another quality that Sinner would like, in addition to the Spaniard's return of serve.

The young Italian also named the forehand of Roger Federer and the backhand of Novak Djokovic as part of his ideal player.

"I'll take John Isner's serve, the return of serve and the mentality of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer's forehand and Novak Djokovic's backhand," Sinner said.

Jannik Sinner aims to play 60 matches in 2021

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner

The 2020 season was suspended for over five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Jannik Sinner was able to play only 30 matches all year. He posted a 19-11 win-loss record on the ATP tour, highlighted by his first Slam quarterfinal (at the French Open) and his first ATP title (at Sofia).

Sinner, who was nominated for the ATP Newcomer of the Year award in 2020, is hopeful that the 2021 season will be a normal one. The Italian would like to play around twice the number of matches that he played last year, so that he can get used to the grind of the tour.

"I hope it's a normal season," Sinner said. "I don't like setting goals in terms of ranking. I simply want to play as many games as possible, approximately 60. Playing a lot means that things are working well and I improve a lot in terms of resistance."
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Jannik Sinner will start his 2021 campaign at the ATP 250 event in Antalya, scheduled for the first week of January. He is also slated to play doubles - alongside compatriot Matteo Berrettini - in the Turkish city.

After that the Italian will head to Melbourne, where he will spend the first week of quarantine training with Rafael Nadal. The duo will then combine with Stan Wawrinka and Diego Schwartzman in the second week for their training.

After the completion of his two-week quarantine, Jannik Sinner will participate in one of the two ATP 250 events scheduled to be held in Melbourne. That would be followed by the Australian Open, which is set to begin on 8 February.

Published 29 Dec 2020, 12:17 IST
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