Jannik Sinner - Roland Garros 2024

Jannik Sinner living ‘everyone’s dream’ after becoming World No.1

Jannik Sinner has been confirmed to become the 29th men’s singles No.1 following the conclusion of Roland Garros, after Novak Djokovic was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a right knee injury.

Sinner knew that coming into the tournament there was a big opportunity for him to reach the summit of the ATP rankings for the first time, and he would have confirmed this by reaching a first Roland Garros final.

Although, the 22-year-old no longer needs to do this, with Djokovic’s withdrawal bringing an end to his 10th reign as world No.1.

The Italian was told the news on court, after beating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to reach his first semi-final at the Paris major.

“What can I say?” responded Sinner. “It’s everyone’s dream to become No.1 in the world; on the other hand, seeing Novak retiring here is disappointing for everyone. I wish him a speedy recovery.”

He continued, “I try not to think about that too much because this is a tournament where I used to struggle a lot, especially in the last two years, so I’m happy to be in the semi-finals, try to enjoy it, and play my best tennis.

“It’s a special moment for me, and I’m very happy to share this with you guys, and all the people watching from home, especially in Italy. Let’s see what I can do on Friday.”

In the past year, Sinner has reached another level after winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and first two Masters 1000 titles in Toronto and Miami, as well as reaching the final of the ATP Finals in Turin.

Sinner has only lost two of his 33 matches in the first half of 2024, against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells and Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Monte Carlo Masters, enabling him to become the first Italian No.1 in singles.

And the Australian Open champion was keen to talk about the ‘Italian movement’ in his press conference, “It means a lot, but I think it’s great for Italy. We are great country with great coaches and players, and we can see this now how this moment is. I’m happy to be part of this Italian movement.

“People, they start to play tennis now more and more, which is great to see. I think that’s the most important. If someone is No.1 or No.2 or No.10, everyone is trying their best. We have a lot of tournaments. We have junior tournaments and futures and challengers, and we have great tournaments, ATP tournaments, we have ATP Finals in Turin and Rome, and we had the Next Gen [Finals] in Milan.”

Sinner added, “It’s great to see this movement in Italy. I think Italy deserves it, no, because it’s a great country. We have everything. It’s good to be part of this movement.”

There are currently nine Italian players ranked inside the top 100, with the nation led by Sinner winning the Davis Cup for the first time in 47 years back in November.

Sinner will officially become No.1 on Monday, but first he will look to reach his first Roland Garros final when playing the aforementioned Alcaraz on Friday.

Inside the baseline…

As Jannik Sinner mentioned, it is a shame that him becoming world No.1 has to happen by the way of a Novak Djokovic injury. However, it is hard to argue that Sinner does not deserve the status as the top ranked player in the ATP rankings, having been by far the best player on tour since the 2023 US Open. It will be interesting to see how Sinner handles the pressure of being the world No.1, with a huge challenge coming up against Carlos Alcaraz on Friday – in what should be a thrilling semi-final at Roland Garros.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic withdraws from Roland Garros with right knee injury

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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.