The president of the Italian Tennis Federation Angeli Binagho has paid tribute to Novak Djokovic, describing him as a 'monster on the other side of the net.'
Djokovic played Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinal at Wimbledon and for a long time he looked like he had the former world number one on the ropes.
Sinner recovered from a slow start to take the opening two sets against Djokovic, but the 'monster' then woke and the Serbian won it in the fifth.
Binaghi, though, says Italian ace Sinner can be proud of himself, and he has backed him to close it out against Djokovic the next time they meet.
"Sinner proved once again to have great technical and character qualities," Binaghi told the Italian press.
"On the other side of the net there was a monster and in the end he won once again, but I am convinced that next time it will be different."
Novak Djokovic has a great relationship with Italy and Italian tennis, with him enjoying real popularity in the country.
However, he has also become the recent scourge of Italian men at Wimbledon, with him also beating Matteo Berrettini in the final last year.
"Twelve months ago Matteo Berrettini won the first set against him in the final, yesterday Jannik Sinner won the first two," Binaghi said.
"Next time one of our men will be able to take home three out of five sets and win the game. Time plays in favour of Italian tennis."
Sinner and Berrettini are the top Italian players right now, but the country is becoming a real tennis powerhouse in both the ATP and WTA.
So far this golden generation of Italian tennis has not produced a major winner, but Binaghi believes a change of luck could make all the difference at the US Open.
"These first six months of the season, despite the many injuries, brought two Grand Slam semi-finals to Italian tennis with Berrettini at the Australian Open and with Martina Trevisan in Paris, prestigious victories at Queen's and Stuttgart again with Matteo, two quarter-finals with Sinner in Melbourne and at Wimbledon," Binaghi said.
"If bad luck leaves us alone, there are the conditions for a great US Open."
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