‘I Look For Tough Challenges’: Surging Sinner Ready For Shanghai Spotlight

  • Posted: Oct 06, 2023

‘I Look For Tough Challenges’: Surging Sinner Ready For Shanghai Spotlight

Italian arrives fresh from beating Alcaraz and Medvedev back-to-back in Beijing

Is anyone arriving at the Rolex Shanghai Masters in better form than Jannik Sinner?

The Italian arrives at the ATP Masters 1000 fresh from notching back-to-back victories against Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev to claim his third title of the season in Beijing. Beating the top two seeds in the Shanghai draw so recently has left the Italian’s confidence sky-high, particularly his maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head triumph, at the seventh attempt, against Medvedev.

“I’m always looking for the very tough challenges and I’m very happy that I had the chance to play against him again,” said Sinner on Friday of his Medvedev win. “Obviously finals are a little bit different, but for me it is always a huge pleasure when I get the chance to play against the best players in the world.

“I lost many times against him. I changed a couple of things, tactical things, which were working very well at some points, but this is all part of the process and the practice sessions we have done. We try to analyse a couple of things after the match and make the same things happen in practice. This is part of the work we are putting in and you have to show this in a match.”

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In contrast to his rivalry with Medvedev, Sinner now leads Alcaraz 4-3 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. He is one of the few players on Tour who has regularly caused problems to the Spaniard during his meteoric rise.

“Every time when I play against him, I feel like we both try and push ourselves to the limit,” said Sinner. “Both of us obviously hate losing, especially against each other. We have a very good relationship off court. I feel like we are good friends, but still on court you feel a little bit nervous because you want to win. You hate losing.

“We both are very young, and we also feel like when we play, many people are watching. It’s a mix of everything and it’s obviously a huge pleasure to share the court with him. In this way, I always try to look forward to these matches. I feel when I play against the best players in the world I can really see where to improve, and that is basically my main goal.”

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Sinner will hope his focused approach continues to pay off on Saturday when he meets Marcos Giron on his Shanghai debut. Despite his recent successes, which also include lifting his maiden Masters 1000 crown in August in Toronto, the Italian reiterated his commitment to improving in every way he can.

“It’s not about when you win one big title that things are going to change dramatically, especially the mindset,” said Sinner. “I felt at the US Open I should have done a couple of things better. I practised a lot with my team, especially on the mental side and trying to understand my brain a little bit better. I recognised that I made a couple of mistakes and I tried to improve. I feel like the things I showed in Beijing last week were an improvement.”

As well as vying to eclipse his rivals for Masters 1000 glory, one of Sinner’s goals in Shanghai will be to boost his chances of joining Alcaraz, Medvedev and Novak Djokovic in booking a berth at the Nitto ATP Finals. The 22-year-old is in fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he attempts to qualify directly for the prestigious season finale for the first time.

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