Jannik Sinner has had a relatively successful Australian swing, winning his second ATP title and impressing in a five set battle in the Australian Open, but he says that practising with Rafael Nadal has given him his biggest lesson.
Sinner, at only 19 years old, took the Great Ocean Road Open title last week in a competitive field that included David Goffin and Karen Khachanov.
Unfortunately for the young Italian he was then drawn against Canadian powerhouse Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Australian Open.
Largely regarded as two of the most promising youngsters in tennis, both players put on an impressive show for the reduced but vocal crowd, with Shapovalov just having the edge to win the epic five set battle.
But surprisingly it’s not that match or the ATP title win that Sinner believes has given him the biggest lesson while in Australia.
Sinner travelled to Adelaide with Rafael Nadal and was invited to train with the Spaniard everyday through the 14-day quarantine period and he says this has had a big impact on him.
“I think practice with Rafa (Nadal) It’s a big, big lesson,” Sinner said.
“Even today I lost, but, you know, I have to understand why I lost and then it’s going to be a big lesson, as well, I think.
“So it’s not only one but I think firstly to come here, the reason why we came here was to practice with Rafa for two weeks.
“I think he can give me many things about how to stay on court with the right mentality and I think that’s the biggest lesson
“Today was mentally tough, losing in the fifth but it is going to be a lesson as well.”
Prior to the Grand Slam start Sinner had also said of his time with Nadal: “‘He is a super nice and humble person and something I really learnt from him was the intensity he puts into every single practice.
“Every time he steps on court it’s like he is playing a final of a Grand Slam.
“I got a lot out of spending two weeks training with him, and I feel blessed and honoured that he chose me to prepare for such an important event like the Australian Open.”
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