Jannik Sinner’s coach under fire over ‘wrong decision’ that has proven to be ‘costly’

Ewan West
Jannik Sinner with coach Simone Vagnozzi
Jannik Sinner with coach Simone Vagnozzi

Tennis commentator Robbie Koenig has questioned a decision made by Jannik Sinner’s coach Simone Vagnozzi that he feels has proven to be “costly.”

The former ATP player pointed out that Vagnozzi urged Sinner to continue playing at the Madrid Open despite the Italian expressing he was in pain.

Sinner had been struggling with a hip injury during his campaign at the Madrid Open and ultimately withdrew from the event ahead of his quarter-final match with Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The world No 2 was then forced to pull out of the ongoing Italian Open with the same injury, and the 22-year-old has also cast doubt over his French Open participation.

Alongside fellow coach Darren Cahill, Vagnozzi has played a key role in Sinner’s evolution as a player since joining his team in 2022.

Since the 2023 US Open in September, Sinner has won five titles and lost only four matches, while he also inspired Italy to the Davis Cup crown. He secured his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.

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In a post on X / Twitter, Koenig, a former world No 28 and five-time ATP titlist in doubles, shared his thoughts on the management of Sinner’s injury.

“Will be sad if Sinner misses RG, man I love watching him compete,” wrote the South African.

“One thing I’ll never understand though, is a player asking his team if he should continue… JS clearly in discomfort in Madrid, Simone urging him to carry on after Jannik said “it hurts” (groin area).

“Could prove to be a costly decision. Only the player knows how bad their injury feels. I had a bad feeling at the time that this could come back to bite, Jannik.

“To miss Rome and (perhaps) RG (Roland Garros), would confirm it was the wrong decision to keep playing in Madrid, IMO.”

Koenig added in another tweet: “I’m not confusing niggles with pain… you’re right, most players play with discomfort somewhere, but this was different. You don’t see him saying “it hurts” every other week. That was the red flag for me.”

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