‘That’s good luck!’ – Jim Courier explains omen to Australian Open contender Jannik Sinner
After progressing to his first ever Australian Open quarter-final by defeating home favourite Alex de Minaur, Jannik Sinner was apparently blessed by a winged visitor during his on-court interview.
The Australian put on a good show against the 20-year-old Italian, but Sinner overpowered de Minaur to come through in straight sets and line up a last eight meeting with 2021 semi-finalist and world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Sinner made huge strides in 2021 after his breakthrough Major performance at Roland Garros in October 2020, where he reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
“Last year was a long year for me.” Sinner said in his post-match interview after ousting de Minaur.
“[I played] many tournaments for the first time.”
Sinner then cut himself off to ask “What’s that? What’s there?” while looking up at the big screen as he noticed a butterfly had landed on his cap.
After continuing his thought, Sinner spoke about how much perspective and experience the 2021 season gave him.
“[I’ve gained a lot of] experience in the last couple of months.
“I’ve grown as a player and also as a person.
“At 20 you can only grow. Obviously, I’m very happy to be here in the quarter-finals.”
Interviewer and two-time Australian Open champion Jim Courier added on the butterfly incident, “I think that’s a good sign by the way.
“If butterflies like you the universe is telling you something good.”
In recent times, butterflies have played a bigger part at the Australian Open than one might otherwise imagine, thanks in large part to four-time Major champion and former world number one Naomi Osaka.
The Japanese star had a run in with one of the winged insects during her third round encounter with Ons Jabeur at last year’s Australian Open.
Osaka went on to win the tournament to claim her fourth Major crown, and on her return to the event this year wore bright orange tennis shoes with a butterfly design as an homage to the moment.
This week will tell whether the butterflies bestowed similar fortunes on Sinner.
It is all smiles for Italian talent Down Under this year as Matteo Berrettini also made it to the quarter-finals, making national sporting history in the process.
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