Former pro explains what separates Jannik Sinner from Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev

Jannik Sinner plays a shot Credit: Alamy
Jannik Sinner plays a shot Credit: Alamy

Former ATP player Diego Nargiso has revealed what he feels Jannik Sinner must improve to “compare himself” with Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev.

The Italian, who was ranked as high as 67th in singles, argued his compatriot “can’t afford to lose his serve so frequently” if he is to compete with the current top three.

Sinner achieved a significant breakthrough by winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto earlier this month. He downed Alex De Minaur in straight sets in the final to claim the biggest title of his career.

The world No 6 was beaten by Dusan Lajovic in his opening match at last week’s Cincinnati Masters following his triumph in Canada.

The 22-year-old, who is having an impressive year so far, sits fourth in the 2023 ATP Race to Turin – behind only Alcaraz, Djokovic and Medvedev.

In an interview with OA Sport, Nargiso was asked what separates Sinner from the trio ahead of him in the Race.

“What stands out is the continuity of service. Jannik is devastating in return because, despite him serving badly throughout the entire tournament in Toronto, he managed to win, losing only a set to Monfils,” said the Italian.

“It says everything about how adept he is at hitting back, but to be able to compare himself with tennis players like Djokovic, Alcaraz and Medvedev – he can’t afford to lose his serve so frequently.

“He could certainly improve it, because right now the movement is far from perfect. The throw is often too much to the left, the trajectories have to vary more and sometimes he is not in the correct position to land the first shot, making himself caught unprepared.

“In the horizontal game he is very strong, especially on the left side, but if he wants to win Grand Slam he must absolutely grow in terms of continuity with this fundamental. However, let’s get it into our heads that his serve won’t become like that of the best hitters on the circuit, because in the end those are the characteristics.”

The two-time ATP Tour finalist also assessed Sinner’s chances at the upcoming 2023 US Open, where he will be seeded sixth.

“I see a decidedly open context. Sinner can be considered among the favourites, but his performance is mainly linked to the serve and also to a certain extent to the efficiency of the forehand when he runs it,” Nargiso said.

“Clearly there are Djokovic, Alcaraz and Medvedev and then watch out for loose cannons like [Hubert] Hurkacz, [Taylor] Fritz and [Frances] Tiafoe, who are able to exalt themselves on fast pitches.”

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