Jannik Sinner lauded for avoiding Emma Raducanu, Matteo Berrettini ‘fault’ by refusing big invite

Ewan West
A happy Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner of Italy applauds fans after his tennis match

Tennis analyst Rennae Stubbs has suggested Jannik Sinner showed he prioritises tennis more than Matteo Berrettini and Emma Raducanu by declining an invitation to the Sanremo Music Festival. 

Former world No 9 Andrea Petkovic also expressed her respect for Sinner’s decision and declared it was justified as he won the Rotterdam Open title.

After winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2024 Australian Open last month, Sinner was invited to the Sanremo Music Festival, which is the most popular Italian song contest and awards ceremony.

The 22-year-old Italian decided not to attend the event, which took place from February 6-10, and focused on preparing for the Rotterdam Open, which ran from February 12-18.

The world No 3 received some criticism in his home country for refusing the invitation, but he secured the title in Rotterdam to extend his winning streak to 15 matches.

READ MORE: ‘If I had to put money on Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz having a better career, I’d pick Sinner’

During a conversation on Racquet’s Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast, Petkovic said she would have attended the festival and backed Sinner for making the right call.

“It’s a big honour to be invited to the Sanremo Music Festival. As anybody, not just as an artist. And Jannik actually didn’t take the invitation,” the German explained.

“He refused to come because he had to train to go to Rotterdam and it was a controversy because everyone was like, ‘Oh, he’s not honouring the invitation.’

“And I would have gone, I would’ve been in Sanremo, so maybe that’s why I never won majors. At the same time, I really respect it and then seeing him win Rotterdam was like, yeah he did the right thing.”

Former doubles world No 1 Stubbs, who coached tennis legend Serena Williams, named Berrettini and Raducanu as players who have not always prioritised tennis over off-court opportunities.

“That’s the one thing that I would have to say against Matteo Berrettini for example. Look, we call a spade a spade on this podcast and I love Matteo, he’s a great guy,” the Australian said.

“He’s very good looking, all the stuff that we all love about him. And he’s an amazing tennis player and yes, he’s had terrible injuries over the last couple of years, but when he was at his peak, when he was doing really well, he was going to the Met Gala, he was doing photoshoots.

“And I’m fine with that because Jannik’s got his Gucci stuff and Matteo has his Boss stuff, but that’s maybe where you have to maybe fault him (Berrettini) a little bit.

“I know a lot of people have given Emma Raducanu s**t for that. That’s where it’s important to have people around you that are advising you to say what is your priority.”

READ MORE: 2024 ATP Rankings: Novak Djokovic extends record, Jannik Sinner putting pressure on Carlos Alcaraz