‘Biggest Lesson’: Jannik Sinner Hails Rafael Nadal’s Training Session Before Australian Open 2021

Published 02/08/2021, 5:30 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 7, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during a practice session before the Australian Open REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Jannik Sinner had a terrific start to 2021 as he clinched the Great Ocean Road Open title to kick start the new season. The young Italian who made use of quarantine practice with Rafael Nadal, defeated his compatriot Stefano Travaglia in the final to win the second title of his career, but that wasn’t the best lesson that he took away from Australia!

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Sinner has two career titles now. The first one came at Sofia Open 2020, and the recent one at Melbourne, Australia. The 19-year-old spent more than a month in Australia preparing for the Australian Open and took home some valuable lessons after being knocked out in the first round of the Slam. 

Tennis – Great Ocean Road Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 7, 2021, Italy’s Jannik Sinner celebrates winning his final singles match against Italy’s Stefano Travaglia REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Jannik Sinner considers training with Rafael Nadal bigger than ATP title

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Sinner had to undergo the quarantine measures that came along with participating at Australian Open 2021. The athletes went ahead with their training after completing the protocol, and fortunately for Jannik Sinner, Rafael Nadal was his training partner for a brief period. 

One could imagine how their training sessions would’ve gone; a 20-time Grand Slam champion training with a ‘Next Gen’ star. Jannik Sinner was overwhelmed to have got the special opportunity and picked his time with Nadal as the best moment he experienced in Australia. 

“I think practice with Rafa. It’s a big, big lesson,” Sinner replied when asked about the biggest lesson he took away from the opening Grand Slam. 

PARIS, FRANCE October 06. Winner Rafael Nadal of Spain is congratulated by Jannik Sinner of Italy at the net after the Quarter Final match of the singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

“The reason why we came here for two weeks is to practice with Rafa, because I think he can give me many things about how to stay on court with the right mentality & that’s the biggest lesson,” Sinner added about Nadal. 

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Sinner didn’t reveal what Rafael Nadal told him during their training routines, but he did mention that it is the most valuable lesson he’s learned this year. Such is the reverence that the Spaniard holds in the tennis community. 

Sinner picked Nadal’s guidance over an ATP title as the most valuable lesson he learned in Australia. The 19-year-old unfortunately crashed out in the first round of Australian Open 2021, or else he would have been asked this question a bit later this month! 

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Arjun Athreya

1946 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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