Jannik Sinner says Roland Garros loss is ‘part of growing up’

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Jannik Sinner has suffered only his third defeat of the season, but admitted that he was ‘very happy’ with his performance at Roland Garros this year after struggling with injury. Sinner was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz, 2-6 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3, in the semi-final, ending the Italian’s best run to date at the Paris major.

As a result, Alcaraz has become the only player to beat Sinner on multiple occasions so far this year.

Despite the obvious disappointment, Sinner suggested that he was happy with his tournament after withdrawing from the Italian Open due to a hip injury.

“I think it was a great match. For sure, in the sets he won, he played better in the important points. I think that was the key,” explained Sinner. “Obviously, I’m disappointed with how it ended, but it’s part of my growth and the process.

“Reflecting on reaching this point in the tournament, I’m obviously very happy. On the other hand, I’m disappointed about today’s match. Now I just have to keep looking forward, to improve, to try to do my best, and then we will see what I can achieve in the future here in this tournament. Looking on the positive side, I have improved from last year.”

With ‘the big three’ less prevalent in 2024, with Roger Federer retired and Rafael Nadal playing less frequently, the rivalry between Sinner and Alcaraz is being seen as the next big thing on the ATP Tour.

Sinner has also spoken about his dynamic with Alcaraz on court: “Looking at the results, we usually play against each other in the semis, finals, or quarters, in very important matches. I think that’s exciting for the game, especially when the head-to-head is quite close. The winner is happy, and the loser tries to find a way to win next time. I think that’s exciting. That’s what I will try to do.”

The Australian Open champion continued, “I think we study each other very well. You can see a little bit of tension sometimes on both sides just because we are getting to know each other better. Each time we play, we expect certain things, and then we mix up the plan and make different choices on the court. I think next time will obviously be different.”

Although Sinner is out of Roland Garros, the 22-year-old will become world No. 1 for the first time on Monday after Novak Djokovic withdrew from the tournament.

The Italian will now move onto the grass court season, beginning at the ATP 500 tournament in Halle, starting on Monday, 17th June.