The Quarter-Final stage begins today at Roland Garros 2020. The 12 time champion Rafa Nadal will be in action against Sinner. The US open champion Dominic Thiem will also be seen today.
Starting April 2019, Jannik Sinner sat at No. 314 in the rankings with zero ATP wins to his name. That week, he received a wild card into the ATP Budapest qualifying draw. He lost, but was granted a lucky-loser entry to the main draw, where he earned his first ATP victory over local wild card and world No. 323 Mate Valkusz. It wasn’t the biggest win he’d ever earned, considering some of his junior performances, but it spurred his belief. The next week he reached the final of the Ostrova Challenger. He then received a wild card into Rome, where he defeated Steve Johnson in the first round, and the rest is history. Since then, Sinner has climbed as high as No. 68 in the ranks, earning wins over Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Alexander Zverev. Not bad for a 19-year-old whose primary sport just six years ago was skiing, not tennis.
Nick Bollettieri, coach of ten former world No. 1s, firmly believes that champions are born, not made. There’s no special drill, no perfect technique—just a burning, internal need (rather than a desire) to win. When an opportunity is presented to a great champion, they tend to seize it.
So fittingly, Sinner has become the first player to reach the Roland Garros quarterfinal in his first appearance since Rafael Nadal—his quarterfinal opponent on Tuesday—who won the tournament in his first-ever appearance at 19. Can he do that? While an upset over Nadal would surprise everyone, there are a couple things working in the Italian’s favor.
First off, the cold conditions and heavy new Wilson balls mean the ball bounces much lower than normal at Roland Garros. Nadal has still been dominant in Paris, but his forehand is not bouncing as high as in years past. This should allow Sinner to hit at least some of his backhands inside his strike zone, instead of high above it. The second, and most important advantage Sinner owns over all his peers—according to Infosys ATP Beyond the Numbers—is that he produces more spin on his backhand than anyone. Spin equals safety and control, and Nadal has yet to face a backhand hit as heavy as Sinner’s.
Nadal Starts favourite but rule out Sinner on your own risk!
N.Djokovic v P.Carreno Busta
A.Rublev v S.Tsitsipas
D.Schwartzman v D.Thiem
J.Sinner v R.Nadal
Djokovic wins in straight sets.
Tsitsipas wins in four sets.
Thiem wins in four sets.
Nadal wins in straight sets.