How Jannik Sinner can join Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal to become fifth player to achieve rare feat

Ewan West
A happy Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner of Italy celebrates victory

Jannik Sinner became the first new Grand Slam men’s singles champion since Carlos Alcaraz in 2022 with his impressive triumph at the 2024 Australian Open last month. 

The Italian followed up his maiden major by winning the Rotterdam Open earlier this month to take his winning streak — which started at the Davis Cup Finals in November — to 15 matches.

Sinner, who climbed to a career-high world ranking of No 3 after his triumph in the Netherlands, can join an exclusive club if he extends his run further.

The 22-year-old is set to play his third tournament of the 2024 season at the Indian Wells Masters in California, which will run from March 6-17.

READ MORE: 2024 Indian Wells Open: Will Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal play? When is the draw?

If he can secure the title in Indian Wells, Sinner will become just the fifth player to win the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament played after winning a first Grand Slam title.

Here are the four players who have accomplished this rare feat since ATP Masters 1000 level tournaments were introduced in 1990.

Andre Agassi – 1992

Andre Agassi secured the first of his eight Grand Slam titles in his fourth major final at the 1992 Wimbledon Championships, where he edged out Goran Ivanisevic 6–7(8–10), 6–4, 6–4, 1–6, 6–4 in an epic contest.

The first ATP Masters event (then known as the ATP Super 9 series) which Agassi played after Wimbledon was the Canadian Open in July. The American defeated fellow tennis great Ivan Lendl 3–6, 6–2, 6–0 in the title match in Toronto for the first of his three Canadian Open titles.

Thomas Muster – 1995

Thomas Muster, who was dubbed the ‘King of Clay’ due to his success on the surface, won the only major title of his career at the 1995 French Open with a 7–5, 6–2, 6–4 final victory against 1989 Roland Garros champion Michael Chang.

The Austrian next played an ATP Masters tournament (then known as the Championship Series) at the Eurocard Open in Essen, Germany in October. The 40-time clay-court titlist downed 1996 Wimbledon runner-up Malivai Washington 7–6(8–6), 2–6, 6–3, 6–4 to win his only title on the carpet court surface.

Rafael Nadal – 2005

Rafael Nadal claimed the first of his 22 Grand Slam titles and 14 crowns at Roland Garros when he overcame Mariano Puerta 6–7(6–8), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5 in the 2005 Roland Garros title match.

After the French Open, the great Spaniard next played an ATP Masters Series event at the Canadian Open in August. Nadal, who has since made the ‘King of Clay’ moniker his own, earned his first ATP hard-court title, at an event he has now won five times, after defeating Agassi 6–3, 4–6, 6–2 in the Montreal final.

Novak Djokovic – 2008

Novak Djokovic won his the first of his record 24 majors at the 2008 Australian Open, where he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(7–2) in the championship match for the first of his 10 titles at the event.

The Serbian legend made his first ATP Masters 1000 appearance after his Melbourne triumph in Indian Wells in March. Djokovic saw off American home favourite Mardy Fish 6–2, 5–7, 6–3 in the final to win the first of his five Indian Wells crowns.

READ MORE: How Jannik Sinner can make Open Era history with feat that eluded Djokovic, Nadal, Federer