“Not in the Best Form on Clay”: Jannik Sinner Plays Down His Chances Against Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo Masters 2021

Published 04/14/2021, 3:59 AM EDT
Tennis – Great Ocean Road Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner in action during his semi final match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Rising Italian tennis star Jannik Sinner has sought to play down his chances ahead of the highly-anticipated third-round clash with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday.

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Incidentally, the two players haven’t played each other before but the contest still has the tennis world waiting with bated breath as it pits a potential future World No. 1 against one who recently broke the record for the highest number of weeks as the top-ranked player.

Jannik Sinner beat Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas in his debut match at Monte-Carlo

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Making his debut appearance at Monte-Carlo on Tuesday, Sinner produced a clinical performance against Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas.

Though the World No. 22 fell back in the early exchanges, conceding a break of serve to go 0-2 down in the opening set, he broke back on three occasions to close out a 6-3, 6-4 win.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 09: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Gael Monfils of France with a score of 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 during their Men’s Singles Semifinal Match on Day Twelve of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The victory helped him extend his win/loss tally this year to 15-5. Speaking to reporters after his win, the Italian said that he could practice for only three days ahead of his tournament opener.

“It’s always good for me to see what I can do on clay. Obviously, I am not in the best form on clay now for the first week,” Sinner said.

Sinner would look to exploit Djokovic’s lack of match time post-injury break

Sharing his thoughts on his opening encounter, Sinner said his opponent made him earn every point. “He’s (Vinolas) not giving (away) one point, so you have to stay there the whole match…I think I played a good match from my side,” the Miami runners-up said.

While most would fancy the Serb to stroll past the Italian in his tournament opener, what puts this contest in the balance is that Djokovic would be making his first appearance on the Tour since the Australian Open.

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The Serb clinched a record ninth title at Melbourne Park, battling an abdominal muscle tear, but pulled out of events thereafter to recover.

He was one of the several top names missing from the men’s draw at Miami Open as well. He is coming into Monte-Carlo with hardly any matches under his belt and that is perhaps the chink that Sinner would look to exploit during Wednesday’s blockbuster.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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