“One Thing That Makes Them Unique…”: Jannik Sinner Opens Up on Meeting Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal

Published 05/02/2021, 8:12 AM EDT
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)


Italian teenage sensation, Jannik Sinner, has had a resounding effect on the ATP tour in his small career. He has already been hyped up by the legends of the game, and he has trained with a few of them as well. Recently, Sinner practiced with Rafael Nadal and earlier had the chance to meet Maria Sharapova as well.

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In a recent interview, Sinner spoke about the unique personalities of champions such as Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova. Sinner’s current coach, Riccardo Piatti, was Sharapova‘s coach in the last stages of her career, and thus Sinner had a few encounters with the Russian at Piatti’s academy.

“I feel lucky to have met her personally. I was very impressed by her professionalism. Her tennis was incredible, something that was obvious from her results. She had that kind of different and special mentality that few players have. I tried to understand how to be able to have that character.”

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Jannik Sinner celebrates winning his quarterfinal match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Albert Gea

Jannik Sinner on practicing with Rafael Nadal

Earlier this year, as the season started in Australia, Sinner had the chance to practice with Nadal. And having spent some time with great champions of the sport, Sinner confessed that on-court, as well as off-court attitude, has helped them achieve their glory.

“It’s a bit what happened to me with Nadal in Adelaide. They do not have just one thing that makes them unique, they are an accumulation of things. Spending time with them makes you improve not only as a tennis player but as a person.” (quotes have been translated)

Speaking further on Nadal, Sinner heaped praise on Nadal and his team for their humbleness. “You learn a lot from someone who has won 20 ‘Grand Slam’. What I would highlight the most about him is how kind he was to me and that he is a hard worker.”

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Sinner will now play the first round of Mutua Madrid Open 2021 against Guido Pella. If he wins the tie, then he will play top-seed Nadal in the second round.

Could Sinner upset Nadal if he plays the Spaniard?

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Bhavishya Mittal

980 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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