Sinner On Musetti: 'He Is A Big, Big Talent'
Jannik Sinner is one of the ATP Tour’s brightest young talents, but he is not the only player from his country under the spotlight. Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini led Italy to the final of the ATP Cup last month, and on Tuesday evening #NextGenATP Lorenzo Musetti earned his first Top 10 win against Diego Schwartzman in Acapulco.
Sinner believes Italian tennis is on a “high”.
“Everyone is different, has different styles, so I think that’s very exciting,” said Sinner, who beat Roberto Bautista Agut on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. “Musetti is a big, big talent. He can do everything with the ball already, so he’s already physically strong. I think he’s a great player like [Lorenzo] Sonego as well. He’s serving big and going for shots.
“I’m excited for Italian tennis and I think everyone can do well in every tournament.”
The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion is not sitting idly on his success. The two-time ATP Tour titlist, who is at a career-high No. 32 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, is keen to continue raising his level.
“For me, the most important thing is always to improve,” Sinner said. “That’s for me the first thing.”
Despite the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sinner broke through last season to claim his first tour-level crown in Sofia and reach his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros. But the Italian feels more confident this year than he did in 2020.
“Last year was a little bit different, I would say. Players got to know me a little bit because I won the Next Gen ATP Finals. They were all new tournaments for me. It was not easy playing [with] a lot of changes, many, many great players I had to face,” Sinner said. “Now it’s a little bit different. I feel a little bit better on court, I would say more comfortable knowing my game a little bit more.”
Now Sinner is focusing on trying to understand where he must improve his game the most.
“Obviously I have to improve everything, but now I [am] starting to know a little bit how everything is working,” Sinner said. “I’m very happy with every progress we are doing. I have a great team behind me. They know how to make [practice] a tough life for me, so you always have to find a solution, how to react to every single thing.
“I would say this is for me the most important thing: trying to solve the problems I have on court and focusing day after day to improve.”
Sinner will continue his pursuit of a first ATP 500 title when he plays Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev. The Russian has maintained his Melbourne momentum, pushing Dominic Thiem to three sets last week in Doha and earning three solid wins this week.
Although Sinner has never played Karatsev in a match, he remembers practising with the Russian in early 2018 at a Futures event in Egypt.
“Obviously [the] next match is a tough one. He is confident, he was playing very, very great in Australia, [made] an incredible run,” Sinner said. “He’s very, very tough to beat, so I think it’s going to be a very different match than today. He’s a big server, playing very, very fast… I’m excited to get to know him in a tournament.”