Jannik Sinner enters new territory this week as he bids to defend a tour-level title for the first time at the Sofia Open.
It all began for the Italian in the Bulgarian capital a year ago, when he defeated the experienced Vasek Pospisil for his maiden silverware. He has since gone on to add a second ATP 250 trophy in Melbourne and collected ATP 500 honours in Washington, D.C. Top seed in 2021, he could meet the Canadian in the second round in Sofia.
“Hopefully there will be some crowds again, which helped me a lot last year. Obviously, when you win the first tournament it’s always a special place and for me it was here, so I’m very grateful to be back,” Sinner said.
“It’s great, a lot of emotions last year… This year is very different, obviously. It’d [be] very nice to see me with the trophy, but I’m here trying to defend what I did last year and for this it’s a long way to go.”
FedEx ATP Race To Turin Standings
The 20-year-old arrived in Sofia last year having reached his first Grand Slam fourth round at Roland Garros. Top seed this week, he returns at No. 11 in the FedEx ATP Race to Turin.
A fourth tour-level title would boost his chances of a maiden Nitto ATP Finals berth and the trophy would complement his first from Sofia last year, which takes pride of place back in his apartment.
“It’s at my home in Monaco. When I enter my apartment it’s the first thing I see on the left-hand side,” Sinner said. “It’s very, very nice when I go back at home to see some trophies and obviously the first trophy of my career.”