John McEnroe skeptical about Jannik Sinner's physical condition for Roland Garros

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 at 14:30
John McEnroe has expressed doubts about the physical condition of Jannik Sinner. The Italian, who debuted at the French Open with a win against Christopher Eubanks (6-3, 6-3, 6-4), had to withdraw from the Masters 1000 Rome Open a few weeks ago due to a hip injury and arrived in Paris with questions about his fitness.
The victory against Eubanks provided positive signs regarding Sinner's level on clay. However, McEnroe believes that as the rounds progress, the 22-year-old will face more physical demands, and the three weeks without competition before Roland Garros might take a toll.

McEnroe doubts Sinner's physical readiness

The seven-time Grand Slam champion commented that the current French Open is the most open in many years, providing a good opportunity for several players. McEnroe is skeptical about Sinner's preparation: "I doubt that Jannik is 100%. He hasn't done the ideal preparation and wanted to play more matches to have the chance to arrive ready in Paris,” he said.
“I think this is the most open tournament in recent years. Especially with the uncertainty that affects many of the top players. It's quite exciting from a commentator's point of view. I'm sure it's very stressful for the players, especially the top players, if they don't know where they stand. Obviously, if everyone was healthy, you would have three or four big favorites,” the former world No. 1 added.
“So at least it opens the door for other players who wouldn't normally think they have a chance. The Roland Garros is a Slam and that's where the top players want to play. In my time, it mattered who had the best record at the end of the year, but today it matters how many Slams you collect at the end of your career," McEnroe concluded.
Sinner at 2024 French Open

Sinner searching for his best rhythm

The Italian had a solid start at Roland Garros, matching his performance from last year, when he surprisingly fell in the second round to Daniel Altmaier. This time, the situation is different with Sinner fighting for the world No. 1 and already having the experience of a Grand Slam title, having won the Australian Open earlier this year.
Questions about his fitness seem to be the main concern for Sinner, who commented on Media Day that he hopes to improve as he spends more time on the court: "I can't work miracles. I haven't played tennis for about three weeks, which is a long time before a Grand Slam. I just try to play day in and day out. This is a little different approach in this tournament than in the past because hopefully advancing to the first round will help me find my rhythm a little bit,” he said.
Sinner recently recalled in The Guardian his loss to Altmaier in 2023. At that time, he was the 8th seed and lost a tight match 7-6, 6-7, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7. "I always try to learn from defeats and this one was tough. My mentality wasn't the best and I promised myself that this attitude would not be repeated. It was time to do my best with a smile,” he said.
“There is pressure, of course, but pressure is a privilege. There were too many ups and downs, emotionally. It can happen - you play one set well, one set badly - especially on clay. But I was not happy on the pitch and without motivation. My team told me: Why do you have this attitude? They were right, and I always believed that if you want to improve, you have to accept what you did wrong. After that match, I trained a lot.”
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Sinner won his first Grand Slam title at 2024 Australian Open, he defeated Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
“It's okay to miss shots, even lose. But you have to be happy to be on the court. Tennis started as a hobby and now it is my job. But it's important that I continue to play as if it were my hobby. It's impossible to always be positive. There are many negative moments, but you have to find a way to get out of them. The more you play, the easier it is,” the Italian added.
“I like to dance in the storm of pressure. You have to enjoy the pressure because it's not like we're doctors operating. If you make a mistake as a doctor, it can cost you your life. We win or lose and the next week you have another chance," concluded Sinner.

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