Rafael Nadal gives his verdict on ‘complete player’ Jannik Sinner after Italian Open victory
He took a lot of positives from his own performance, but Rafael Nadal had nothing but praise for Jannik Sinner after beating the teenager at the Italian Open.
The highly-rated Sinner gave as good as he got before going down 7-5, 6-4 against the 20-time Grand Slam winner in a contest that lasted more than two hours.
The quest for a 10th Rome title is ON! 🇮🇹@RafaelNadal comes through 7-5 6-4 against an impressive Sinner.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 12, 2021
Sinner twice led on serve in the opening set as he broke in games one and five, but was pegged back immediately by the veteran before a late break earned Nadal the set.
It was a repeat story in the second set as he held a 3-1 lead before breaks in games eight and 10 set up the win for the Spaniard.
After the match Nadal highlighted the 18-year-old’s strengths.
“I think Jannik is a very complete player,” he told ATP Tour. “He’s still improving all the time. You can’t appreciate the improvement in one day.
“To see the improvements of players, you need to follow them [for many] tournaments in a row. You follow him and you see that his level is higher and higher all the time.”
He added: “He has a great backhand and a great forehand, too. I think I tried to… hold [the baseline] well, not going back too far from the court. If [you do that], you are dead. I think I held well the position on court.
“I hit some very good forehands, cross-courts too to avoid his great backhand cross, and then he has a great change down the line. I think I did that well.”
Nadal, who will face Denis Shapovalov in the third round, was pleased with his own day at the office.
“[It was] a positive match for me. I think I did a lot of things well. I played a solid match,” he said. “[I am] happy in [that there were] a lot of positive things against a very tough player like Jannik. Very pleased with the victory.”
Daria Kasatkina relishing three-setters after Silicon Valley Classic triumph
Daria Kasatkina will return to the top 10 after her triumph in San Jose on Sunday.
Nick Kyrgios has big DC return, wins Citi Open singles and doubles titles
The 27-year-old dropped just one set in five matches of singles, never had his serve broken and led the tournament with 96 aces.
Toronto Masters: How to watch Emma Raducanu vs Camila Giorgi
Here’s how you can track Emma Raducanu at the Toronto Masters,
Montreal Masters: How to watch Andy Murray vs Taylor Fritz
Andy Murray faces American No 1 Taylor Fritz in the opening round of the Montreal Masters.
Silicon Valley Classic: Shelby Rogers chasing first title in showdown with Daria Kasatkina
Shelby Rogers will face Russian No 1 Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s championship match.
Nick Kyrgios on the brink of ending ATP Tour title drought
Nick Kyrgios is one win away from ending his three-year singles title drought.
Daniil Medvedev claims first title of 2022 after downing Cameron Norrie
Medvedev moves up to fifth in the ATP Race To Turin thanks to the 250 points he has banked in Mexico.
Montreal draw: Daniil Medvedev set for nightmare opener against Nick Kyrgios
Taylor Fritz faces Andy Murray in one of the highlights of the first round.
Los Cabos: Cameron Norrie eye on third ATP Tour title of 2022
The British number one battled to a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory in the semi-finals.