Jannik Sinner - Shanghai Masters 2023

Jannik Sinner ‘will go into Australia with real hope’ claims Roger Federer’s former coach

Jannik Sinner has been heaped with praise by former world No.3 and former coach of Roger Federer, Ivan Ljubicic, who has backed the Italian to pose a real threat at the Grand Slams next year. 

Sinner finished the season in impressive fashion, winning 27 of his last 31 matches, collecting his first Masters 1000 title in Toronto, reaching the final of the ATP Finals and leading Italy to their first Davis Cup title in 37 years.

The 22-year-old also won ATP 500 titles in Vienna and Beijing during that run, enabling him to move up to a career-high ranking of No.4.

And Ljubicic has compared Sinner’s progress to his rival Carlos Alcaraz, “Jannik is not like Alcaraz, who went from 40 to 1, he needs his steps. I think what he has done in the last two months, the confirmation of relentless work, has brought him closer to the goal.

“He needed certain experiences to feel comfortable in the path. At the end of 2022 I had said I was sorry that Jannik had not played important matches against the big boys. Now he has nothing more to learn. He has a perfect attitude on and off the court, in interviews he is not afraid to talk about his limitations and more.”

World No.1 Novak Djokovic only lost seven matches throughout the entirety of 2023, with Sinner the only player to beat the Serb more than once.

This breakthrough has given Ljubicic belief for Sinner at the major tournaments next year, “Having won the Davis Cup allows him to go into Australia with real hope. And he has beaten all the top 10.”

The Croatian continued, “We will see him in Slam management: when you have a day if you feel the pressure, if you think a lot – and he is very reflective – you can have some more problems.

“He is surrounded by a staff of very capable people, though. His strength is character. He never goes off the deep end and is not content. When I got to No 3 I thought I had reached the top and began my downward trajectory.”

Sinner is not currently scheduled to play any official ATP tournaments prior to the Australian Open, but has signed up for the exhibition Kooyong Classic event.

Inside the baseline…

It has been an excellent past few months for Jannik Sinner, who has probably been the second best player in the world for the second half of the season. The Italian’s best Grand Slam result came earlier this year at Wimbledon when he reached the semi-finals, and if he continues his current form it seems likely that he could better that in 2024.

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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.