Jannik Sinner - Miami Open 2024

Jannik Sinner using Monte Carlo Masters ‘as a practice week’

Jannik Sinner has played down his expectations for the Monte Carlo Masters this week, after previously confessing to struggling on clay courts.

Sinner is competing in his first tournament since winning the Miami Open, with the Italian winning 23 of his 24 matches this year.

Despite his impressive form, the world No.2 does not appear optimistic about the Monte Carlo Masters this week, “The expectations are are not that high for this for this beginning of clay. The goal is to be ready for Roland Garros and then hopefully Olympics. This is…I guess for all all the players the goal, to try to be in top form there.

“We will take this this week as a practice week, playing with matches hopefully, hopefully more than one match but you know, it’s it’s gonna be interesting to see. I’m just happy to be here. It’s a special tournament and hopefully I can perform in in a good way.”

Although Sinner has played down his chances in Monte Carlo this week, the 22-year-old reached the semi-finals at the tournament for the first time last year.

The Australian Open champion won his only title on clay courts back in 2022 in Umag, and Sinner has suggested that he is hoping to improve on the surface as the season goes on this year.

“I said struggling because it’s not the surface where I feel that comfortable in general,” explained Sinner. “I feel more comfortable on hard courts, which doesn’t mean that I that I’m not a good player on clay. I played my first Grand Slam quarter-finals on clay, at Roland-Garros, I made quarters in Rome.

“So let’s see. Talking about last year, (it) was not my best season on clay. Hopefully I can change it this year. But you know, I’m confident that I can be a good player also on clay. It takes time for sure.”

He added, “I used to practice a lot on clay when I was 14 to 20. But then after most of the tournaments, they were hard court tournaments. So you play a little bit less but you know, I’m very excited to be here. I think if you make the clay with a good friendship, it can help.”

Sinner will begin his Monte Carlo Masters campaign against either Sebastian Korda or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, after receiving a bye as the second seed.

Inside the baseline…

Although Jannik Sinner has played down his chances for this week in Monte Carlo, there is no doubt that he will be believing that he can win the title this week due to his recent form. With Sinner closing in on the world No.1 ranking currently held by Novak Djokovic, there will be even more desire to have a better clay court season this year, with lots of points to gain other than at the Monte Carlo Masters where he reached the semis in 2023.

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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.