Italian tennis prodigy Jannik Sinner recently heaped praises on Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova and also claimed that they are similar in some ways. He also said that spending time with both of them has helped him developed as a player and also as a person.
Sinner’s association with Sharapova runs way back to 2009 when his current coach Ricardo Piatti was also working with the 5-time Grand Slam winner. During that time Piatti arranged some sessions where Sinner learned a lot from the Russian.
Recently in an interview, the 19-year-old Italian spoke at length about a lot of things regarding Sharapova. He mainly focused on her attributes and also spoke about her mindset.
“I feel lucky to have met her personally,” Sinner said. “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,” Sinner began.
The Italian youngster is one lucky guy as he also had the opportunity to spend time with the legendary Rafael Nadal as he was picked as one of the training partners of the Spaniard during the Australian Open this year. Sinner observed Nadal very closely and tried to implement a few things in his game.
After a lot of observation Sinner came to the conclusion that both Nadal and Sharapova have multiple characteristics that make them different from the rest.
“It’s a bit what happened to me with Nadal in Adelaide,” said the 19-year-old. “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.”
He then dived into the details of what he learned from the 20-time Grand Slam winner. He highlighted how Nadal is as a person and his ability to manage the work-leisure balance.
“You learn a lot from someone who has won 20 Grand Slams,” Sinner continued. “What would stand out the most about him is how kind he was to me and that he is a hard worker. Both Rafa and the rest of his team are normal people; when you have to have fun they have a good time, and in training, they work.”
After losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open, Sinner is eager to make a mark in the Mutua Madrid Open. The Italian youngster will face Guido Pella in the first round of the event.