Pundits predict Jannik Sinner will ‘be in the top 10 this time next year’ and hails Italian’s tennis IQ

French Open
Jannik Sinner in action

He may have lost his French Open quarter-final against Rafael Nadal in straight sets, but Jannik Sinner certainly left a lasting impression on the Eurosport analysts.

Sinner, playing in his maiden Roland Garros main draw, beat 11th seed David Goffin in the first round and also ousted sixth seed and US Open runner-up Alexander in the fourth round.

Coming up against 12-time French Open winner Nadal in the last eight was always going to be a difficult task, but the Italian gave as good as he got in the opening set as he found himself serving for the set at 6-5.

However, Nadal stormed back and then eased to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1 victory.

Sinner, who won the Next Gen ATP Finals in November last year, impressed Eurosport pundits Tim Henman and Chris Evert with the former predicting big things for the 19-year-old.

“He came out on the court with a clear game plan, he was going to be aggressive, he knew he couldn’t expect Rafa to beat himself. He was incredibly impressive and had that break opportunity in the first set,” former British No 1 Henman said in the Eurosport Cube. “But that’s one of Rafa’s great strengths – when he’s behind on clay he breaks 60% of the time on the next service game.

“He [Sinner] has been developing really well over the last 18 months really, obviously we’ve had a bit of a break.

“He won the Next Generation Championships in Milan, his game’s improving all the time and I still think there are areas he can do better. His first serve is improving, his movement is OK, but I think he can get faster and stronger.

“This time next year, I expect him to be in the top 10, he’s that good a prospect.”

Eighteen-time Grand Slam singles winner Evert believes Sinner will be even better on faster courts.

“He seems to have such great court awareness and great tennis IQ,” she said.

“The thing is, he might do a bit more damage against Rafa on a faster court because he is a power player and he’s got a big serve.”

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