Jannik Sinner is “right there in terms of level” when it comes to winning a maiden Grand Slam, but former Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli believes there is one element missing from his game.
The Italian has been tipped to win majors from a young age and he already has four Grand Slam quarter-final appearances to his name.
This year alone he reached the last eight of three of the four Slams while he also beat newly crowned US Open champion and world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon and in the final of the Croatia Open.
Alcaraz, though, did get the better of Sinner at Flushing Meadows as he saved a match point en route to a five-hour, five-set win.
2013 Wimbledon champion Bartoli believes the 21-year-old has all the ingredients to win a major when it comes to his playing abilities, but feels there is one facet lacking.
“He has the game, he hits the ball so hard, he’s beaten Alcaraz already twice, he’s right there in terms of level,” the former world No 7 told Tennis Majors’ latest Match Points show.
“It’s just for him mentally to get a little tougher and a bit less nice on court. You feel he’s a nice kid and you need to have a mean spirit and a fire inside to go for a Grand Slam.”
Sinner’s title in Umag was his sixth at ATP Tour level, but it remains his only trophy this year as he is yet to reach a semi-final outside of his run in Croatia. Outside of the majors he also reached the quarter-final of four ATP Masters 1000 events.
The Italian is currently No 11 in the ATP Rankings and will need to have a decent final few months on the tour if he is to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin.
Bartoli also spoke about the future of men’s tennis and the Grand Slams in general.
The majors have been dominated by the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer over the past two decades, but Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Alcaraz have all won majors in the past three years.
Bartoli feels a group of four players – including Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev – will regularly be in the mix at majors in the future.
She added: “I think we will have three, four maybe other names that absolutely will be in quarter-finals moving forward.”
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