Jannik Sinner says he was 'suffering' during his Madrid Masters defeat to Alexei Popyrin, but he has vowed to come back stronger.
The Italian was well-fancied for a good run in Madrid, but he crashed out in the second round against the impressive young Australian.
Sinner started the better and was looking in good shape when he took a 5-3 lead in the opening set, but his performance quickly deteriorated before he sank to a 6-7, 2-6 defeat.
He never looked comfortable on court, though, as he was particularly struggling with a persistent cough.
And, after the match, he was happy to explain what went wrong, although he was keen to stress it was not why he lost.
"I suffer from allergy and here there is a lot of pollen, I also play with contact lenses and everything," Jannik Sinner explained. "This bothered me a lot.
“I suffered more because there was more sun and in that court he coped easily, but I did not lose for this reason. He played better than me.
“This defeat helps me to grow. Now I go to the court to work to be at the top for the next match. I’ll come back stronger than before.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?