Jannik Sinner described as a ‘shark’ as key to his matchup with Novak Djokovic is revealed
Jannik Sinner’s coach Simone Vagnozzi has described the Italian star as a “shark” and a “hunter” and outlined the key to his matchup with world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
Vagnozzi assessed that the player who is more aggressive when Sinner and Djokovic face off wins the match, while also identifying areas for improvement for his charge.
Sinner has been coached by former ATP player Vagnozzi since he split with long-time coach Riccardo Piatti in February 2022, while Darren Cahill joined the Italian’s team in June 2022.
The 22-year-old had the best season of his career to date in 2023 as he claimed four ATP titles and finished with a 64-15 (81%) record.
The world No 4 played Novak Djokovic three times in November: winning in the ATP Finals group stage, then losing a rematch in the final in Turin, before triumphing again in the Davis Cup semi-finals. The head-to-head score now stands at 4-2 in favour of Djokovic.
Following his crucial Davis Cup win against Djokovic, in which he saved three match points, Sinner helped Italy win their first Davis Cup title since 1976.
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) November 26, 2023
In an interview with La Stampa, Vagnozzi explained Sinner’s run to the final of the ATP Finals added to his belief for the Davis Cup, while giving an insight into his player’s mentality.
“Of course, he arrived full of confidence after the final in Turin. From the US Open onwards, the end of the season has been very intense, but excellent,” the Italian said.
“The decision to skip the group stage of the Davis Cup in Bologna ended up being the correct one. Winning the Davis Cup has always been a big goal for Jannik.
“Jannik is a shark, a hunter. When he smells blood he does not let his prey escape. That security comes from everything he has worked to get here, from the knowledge that daily work gives him.
“If you know that you have not done something well, You get nervous. Jannik has a very clear conscience, that’s why he is always so calm. In the last two years he has matured a lot, and I think he transmits it by the way he shows himself on the court.
“There Jannik is less serious than what it seems: he has adapted very well to a group, Davis [Cup], made up of very simple people. He likes to joke all the time and encourage the rest.”
The 40-year-old coach, who retired from playing in 2015, also discussed Sinner’s developing rivalry with 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.
“When he and Djokovic face each other, the most aggressive [player] is the one who wins. It was already seen in Turin and it was demonstrated again in Malaga,” he added.
“He can and must still improve in many aspects, especially from a physical point of view, and also in some tactical situations. He must stabilise his serve. It has worked very well in recent weeks, but it must become an even more efficient hit.”
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