Jannik Sinner reveals one aspect he had to ‘accept’ and change in order to take ‘extra step’ in his career

Shahida Jacobs
Jannik Sinner light-hearted moment
Jannik Sinner of Italy is seen laughing after his tennis match

Jannik Sinner believes spending more time in the gym has been key to his Grand Slam success and rise to the top while Boris Becker has told the Italian the “sky is the limit”.

Sinner has been the form player on the ATP Tour since the second half of the 2023 season as he won three titles – including his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the Canadian Open – at the backend of the year and also steered Italy to their first Davis Cup title since 1976.

The 22-year-old followed that up by winning his first Grand Slam in January with the success coming at the Australian Open before he went on to lift titles at the Rotterdam Open and Miami Open to rise to a career-high No 2 in the ATP Rankings.

And the Italian has done it the hard way as he had to beat the likes of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev during that period.

Sinner himself acknowledges that one of the most important came when he realised that he had to accept the fact that he required more strength work in order to take the big step towards a Grand Slam.

“I am more in the gym than the tennis court right now,” he told The Financial Times. “Everybody is different. Me, for example, I have to be strong and stable. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I made this extra step [of winning a Grand Slam], because physically I’ve grown. When I was 20, I still didn’t have the body of a 20-year-old – and you have to accept that…”

Former world No 1 Becker feels the extra work he has put in along with his focus has been key.

“You need to be stronger, but it’s endurance strength,” the German said. “Tennis is not a 100m race, I’d say it’s an 800m to 1,500m race, sometimes even longer. And you have to be strong enough to come back the next day, and the next day…

He added: “Most teenagers or twentysomethings have a lot of flies in their head. First it’s the girlfriend, then it’s the car, then – you name it. But Jannik was always very determined with this quiet confidence of, ‘I know what I have to do. I have one goal and one goal only and that is to become the best tennis player that Jannik Sinner can be.'”

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Sinner and Alcaraz are expected to dominate the sport for years to come and six-time Grand Slam winner Becker “doesn’t see any reason” why the Italian can’t continue his rise.

“I think the sky’s the limit,” he said. “He and Carlos Alcaraz look like they’re better than the rest for various reasons. Who’s going to win five majors? Who knows – so many things can happen on the way to heaven. But I don’t see any reason for Jannik to stop winning.”