"Try to enjoy it and...": World No. 1 Jannik Sinner discloses "mental advice" Federer gave him in Halle

Sinner is the top seed this year and, for the first time in his career, sits atop the ATP Rankings.


ANI | Updated: 16-06-2024 14:31 IST | Created: 16-06-2024 14:31 IST
"Try to enjoy it and...": World No. 1 Jannik Sinner discloses "mental advice" Federer gave him in Halle
Jannik Sinner (Photo: Jannik Sinner/ X). Image Credit: ANI
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World No. 1 Jannik Sinner revealed the advice he received from the tennis great Roger Federer when he was a 17-year-old walking around the players' on-site hotel at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle, where he was competing as a wild card in qualifying. Suddenly he was blocked by Severin Luthi, the coach of then nine-time Halle champion Roger Federer. Sinner said Luthi asked him to play a warmup match with Federer so that the 20-time Grand Slam champion could prepare well for his match.

"I remember Luthi stopping me on the on the stairs of the hotel and asking me if I could warm [Federer ] up for his match. I said, 'Of course, yes.' It was a very good feeling, a special feeling," Sinner told ATPTour.com on Saturday. Swiss great Federer went on to win his tenth and last title in Halle that year. Sinner is the top seed this year and, for the first time in his career, sits atop the ATP Rankings. Even though the two never played a competitive match, the 22-year-old Italian remembers Federer's counsel.

"I didn't have the chance to play against Roger in an official match, and this is something that I will always miss, but I do remember the practice sessions with him. I didn't have many, so I do remember every single one, more or less. He gave me just kind of mental advice: Try to enjoy it and keep looking forward to working hard. That's the only thing he told me, and it was very nice to share a court with him," Sinner reflected. Sinner enters in Halle with a 33-3 record this season, including his first Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open. After cracking the major code at this year's Australian Open and becoming the first Italian World No. 1 in history, might capturing his first tour-level grass-court championship be the next milestone for the 22-year-old in 2024?

"It would be very special because you don't have so many grass-court tournaments throughout the year. It's only here and Wimbledon where I am playing, so I have only two chances [this year]. But in general, it's great to be back on grass," Sinner said. "It's different. The first day you have to go through the movements on the surface and it's difficult, especially when you play the first rounds against players who played already on grass. They have a little bit of feeling, but this is a place where they believed in me, they gave me a wild card in quality back in the day. So I'm happy to come back here and hopefully, I can show some good tennis early on," he added.

Tallon Griekspoor, Sinner's first-round opponent, is unlikely to give him much time to adjust on the German grass. The Dutch World No. 23 reached the semi-finals this week in his hometown of's-Hertogenbosch, where he won the championship in 2023. Sinner leads the ATP Head2Head series 4-0 going into their match in Halle. "It will be very difficult. In general, he plays well on grass. He does a lot of serve and volley. He volleys very, very well. It will be a very difficult match, but I'm looking forward to playing on grass. It will be a good test for me, for my first match on grass, to see where my level is. I will give everything, and I'm looking forward to the crowd here. The atmosphere is good and I will simply try to enjoy it," Sinner said in German of Griekspoor at his pre-tournament press conference. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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