Jannik Sinner makes honest Novak Djokovic confession after ATP Finals beating

Kevin Palmer
Jannik Sinner in action
Italy's Jannik Sinner reacts during his tennis match

Jannik Sinner beat Novak Djokovic in the group stages of the ATP Finals, but he admitted he was no match for the world No 1 in the decisive match of the tournament.

Djokovic won a record-breaking seventh ATP Finals crown in Turin, as he beat Italian favourite Sinner 6-3 6-3 with another brilliant performance.

The support of the home fans was not enough to push Sinner over the winning line, as Djokovic had too much for him.

Sinner held serve in a marathon seventh game but, after Djokovic did likewise to lead 5-3, the match ended on an anticlimactic note with a Sinner double fault.

As he looked back on his first championship match in the ATP Finals, Sinner admitted Djokovic held all the aces as he dominated the exchanges from the baseline.

“I think today he played really, really good, especially in the back of the court,” reflected Sinner.

“Today, I was not that sharp in certain moments. Felt like also I dropped a little bit physically.

“When you drop a little bit against the best player in the world, he makes it look like it’s a big difference. For one and a half sets, he served really, really good.

“It was tough to play. But in the other way, I was enjoying out there, no? It was obviously a final. It is something different. He deserved to win today.

“He played better in the important moments and that’s it.”

Sinner may claim the gap between his game and Djokovic was closer than the scorelines suggested, but the truth is he was out-classed from first to last.

The youngster was hanging on to the world No 1 as he moved through his gears and he will head into next week’s Davis Cup Finals, where he could meet Djokovic once again, appreciating he still has a long way to go to beat the best in the world consistently.

Despite his disappointment, Sinner found plenty of positives after what has been a great year for the world No 4 as he suggested the team he has assembled around him can help to get him close to the top of the tennis ladder.

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“I think there are many positive things, to be honest,” he added.

“The season before, not this season but the season before, I got to know my body a little bit better. I had some mistakes. We solved most of the things. We solved it.

“We tried to learn how my body works. This season we worked a little bit more. We skipped some tournaments to work.

“I think we are doing everything in the right way. I think, especially the second half of the year, mentally I was much, much stronger. I was not complaining so much on court when things were going the wrong way. I think these kind of things, they make a difference.”

“Obviously every player is different. I think I can be proud of how me and my team, we work all together. My team, they know me maybe better than anyone else now because you pass a lot of time with them together. It’s kind of a family. We all got to know each other a little bit better.

“In some tournaments, you have a house. You’re basically 24/7 together. This is something really, really good that we understand each other really well. I think this is also very important.

“One of the things where I can be really happy is that I played many, many important matches in the biggest stadiums we have throughout the whole year. This is something that hopefully can help for the next season.”