Sporting icon compares Jannik Sinner to tennis legend Roger Federer

Kevin Palmer
Jannik Sinner off court
A smiling Jannik Sinner away from the tennis court

Jannik Sinner is the hottest player in men’s tennis after his Australian Open win and now he has been given a glowing endorsement by an icon from another sport.

Olympic gold medalist and Lindsey Vonn was a hero on the ski slopes before she called time on her career in 2019 and she has been impressed by the rise of a sporting hero who could have followed in her footsteps.

Sinner grew up in the Italian Alps and was a fine skier in his youth, before he decided to commit his sporting future to tennis when he was 12-years-old.

Now Vonn has given her verdict on Sinner and she suggested he could go on to follow a path walked by tennis great Roger Federer.

“I always thought it was really special that he was a former ski racer and that’s obviously where we connected,” Vonn told

“He’s a pretty shy guy, but he’s really humble and always super kind. I think he has just a great perspective on the sport and I think to a degree, some of that comes from skiing. We’ve talked about it quite a few times.

“He’s just a great athlete, very smart and I’m not surprised that he won Australia. I thought he would win before he did, but he’s someone that’s going to be around for a long time. And he really reminds me of Roger (Federer), to be honest.”

She went on to analyse Sinner’s game and highlight her own passion for tennis with the level of knowledge she highlighted in these comments.

“If he’s under pressure, and he’s got to serve, he’s got match point or something, the perspective is that if he misses the point, nothing is going to happen,” Vonn said. “It’s not like in skiing, where if you don’t take the turn right, you crash, and you could potentially hurt yourself very badly.

“So it’s the kind of fearlessness that he puts everything out there no matter what the situation. And that perspective, I think, is really different from most people, most athletes, and I think he uses that to his advantage.”

“In just the few years that I’ve known him, I definitely see his confidence level growing.

“He’s talked about it publicly, but [he is] just getting stronger physically. He’s a really tall, lanky man and he’s definitely trying to fill that out and get stronger. But he’s just maturing, he’s growing and he’s only going to get better. I’m excited to watch him continue to succeed in his career.”

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Vonn and Sinner skied together in 2022 and she admitted the experience left a lasting impression.

“He’s really tall, so the taller you are, I think the more difficult it is to skim, but I think it’s similar to his tennis,” she added.

“He’s very fluid and elegant and he’s able to carve and make really nice turns and it seems really effortless for him.

“I was actually pretty nervous skiing with him because I didn’t want to be the reason that something happened and he got hurt. But after skiing with him, it’s clear that that’s not going to happen. He’s very skilled and he’s a really elegant skier.”

Sinner spoke about his love of the slopes last year, as he explained how one of his skiing skills was useful in tennis.

“The only skill I would say is maybe the sliding and the balance on court. Maybe that’s the only thing,” he stated.

“One of the reasons why I chose tennis is because in tennis you don’t have to be really afraid of – you know, of nothing, because nothing can really happen. In ski, you know, when you fall down, you never know if you break something or not.”