‘They only think about profit’ – Jannik Sinner blasted for Davis Cup absence by major winner

Ewan West
Jannik Sinner US Open 2023
Jannik Sinner reacts at the US Open 2023

Italian tennis legend Adriano Panatta has criticised Jannik Sinner for withdrawing from Italy’s squad for this week’s group phase of the Davis Cup Finals.

The 1976 French Open champion declared that today’s tennis players “are businesses and only think about profit”, while also pointing out that Sinner skipped the 2021 Olympic Games.

Sinner announced last week he would not be competing for Italy in their Davis Cup Finals group stage fixtures, which are being played in Bologna this week.

In a message shared on social media, the world No 7 explained his decision: “Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to recover after the tournaments in America and unfortunately I won’t be able to be part of the team in Bologna.

“It’s always an honour to play for our country and I’m convinced I’ll be back in the national team soon. Good luck to the boys, see you.”

Sinner was beaten by Alexander Zverev in a physical five-set fourth round match at the 2023 US Open last week. He was not the only high-profile player to pull out of the Davis Cup ties, with world No 2 Carlos Alcaraz withdrawing from Spain’s team.

Italy were defeated 3-0 by Canada in their opening tie in Group A on Wednesday. They are in action against Chile today and will face Sweden in their final match.

Panatta, who was part of Italy’s Davis Cup winning team in 1976, expressed his disappointment at Sinner for not representing his country.

“Today, tennis players are businesses and, as such, they only think about profit, especially those around them, forgetting history and feelings,” the Italian said in an interview, as reported by We Love Tennis.

“He had already given up on the Olympic Games, today he says no to the Davis Cup. Jannik is tired? [Francesco] Bagnaia, (an Italian Moto GP rider) three days after the accident, was already on the bike.”

The 73-year-old also weighed in on the controversy surrounding former world No 9 and Davis Cup stalwart Fabio Fognini’s omission from the Italian squad. Fognini slammed Davis Cup captain Filippo Volandri’s call not to select him, saying “my story doesn’t deserve it.”

Panatta took the side of the former Monte Carlo Masters champion and highlighted his quality as a doubles player.

“I’m with Fognini. Fabio is one of the greatest talents in our tennis and he can still give a lot. Moreover, he is still the best doubles player. I don’t know why Volandri excluded him, but you should never forget everything a player has done for his country,” said the 10-time ATP titlist.

“Maybe it won’t be that big because now no one is playing in the Davis Cup, but if for some reason we were to lose a singles match, then that could be a problem, because we don’t have doubles [players]. It’s a very unpleasant story.”

Fognini, 36, is currently ranked 131st in the world, having been hampered by injury issues in recent years. The Italian reached the final of the Genova Challenger last week, losing to Thiago Seyboth Wild.

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