Jannik SInner - Miami Open 2024 and Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2024

Jannik Sinner admits he ‘cannot compare’ himself to Novak Djokovic

Jannik Sinner has reflected on the higher expectations that have arose on him since winning the Australian Open, with the 22-year-old dismissing comparisons to Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.

Sinner has won 25 of his 27 matches in 2024, including winning the Australian Open, the Miami Open and the Rotterdam Open.

This has enabled him to rise up to a career-high ranking of world No.2, but Sinner did not appear to want to entertain comparisons to rivals Djokovic and Alcaraz.

“I still believe that you cannot compare myself with Novak with all that he has done,” claimed Sinner. “And the same goes for Carlos. Also Carlos won more than me.

“I have a lot of respect for both of them. I just try to play my game, trying to understand what works best for me and then we see what I can achieve.”

Sinner made a positive start to his clay court season, reaching the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters before losing to eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

However, the Italian has not surpassed the third round at the Madrid Open before, missing the tournament last year through illness.

Despite this, Sinner does appear to be looking forward to bettering his previous best in the Spanish capital, “I’m trying to understand my clay game a little bit better. Here is a little bit different than all the other tournaments because we play in altitude.

“The ball is higher. It’s flying and it’s quite fast, but I used to struggle quite a lot in the previous years finding my level here. So it’s going to be interesting to see how I’m going to play this year. I think that’s the most important thing.”

After Djokovic withdrew from the tournament in Madrid, Sinner is the top seed at a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career, but admitted that he does not want to pressurise himself.

“I don’t want to put pressure on myself,” said Sinner. “I’m living a very positive moment, winning a lot of matches, I just try to keep going like this. In my mind, I know that I can and have to improve if I want to win more.

“I am searching for new opportunities and I feel like that every tournament I play, there can be a good opportunity to try to show that my level has raised.”

Sinner added, “Showing what I have improved, that’s for sure something that I would like to do here. This is a new opportunity, new tournament and we’ll see how it goes.”

As the top seed, Sinner has received a automatic bye to the second round, where he will play either Lorenzo Sonego or Richard Gasquet.

Inside the baseline…

Obviously Jannik Sinner cannot be compared to Novak Djokovic’s entire career yet, but the Italian has to be in the same conversation as the current world No.1 given his form in 2024. That being said, it is sensible from Sinner to play down these discussions, as that will only add more pressure when there already is a lot. It would be surprising if Sinner did not achieve his best result in Madrid this year, given that it would only take two victories.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.