Sinner, Djokovic and against fear completely and immediately
A career passes between Sinner and Djokovic.
«You don’t beat Djokovic twice in the same tournament». This is how Goran Ivanisevic, Nole’s coach, summarized the result of the final. Words with a clear subtext, namely the restoration of hierarchies: “We have put the church back at the center of the village,” would have said another coach who moved to Italy, but this time for football. Because Sinner played a week and even before that, an amazing season finale that portrays him as a right and a duty one of the best, even the best 3-4 players in the world, as shown by its ranking. But sometimes there is a tendency to cause a little confusion because of the excitement and results of the moment.
It is true that Sinner won ten consecutive victories and for the first time continuously defeated the strongest players in the world; Just as it is true that he finished the final group with full points and beat Djokovic himself convincingly. But it’s also true that Sinner is Sinner, a phenomenal twenty-two-year-old and yet still growing. and Djokovic is Djokovic: numbers in hand, the strongest player in the history of the sport. Someone who, at the age of 36, has won three of the four Grand Slam events this season in addition to the finals.
That’s why we must have done it as Italians, but also before as commentators patience in analyzes and also in judgments.
This rush of everything and at once, which all too often floats around like whipped cream on social media, is indeed misleading, the expression of a historical period no longer used to patience and hierarchy and quickly forgetting everything due to the fact of the moment. Which risks going from riches to rags, as was the case, for example, with Berrettini, who even reached the final at Wimbledon (where he always lost to Djokovic himself) and who was affected by a hysterical and bipolar narrative that turned him by the champion (which unfortunately was the case). We wrote, never been) in Brocco (which it isn’t).
This has nothing to do with Sinner, to be clear: much more comprehensive, talented and naturally predestined for the top positions in world tennis than Matteo. But the fear we have is always the same, which then contaminates history, in which everything gets mixed up and mixed up, Expectations grow and with them frustration when maybe things start not going the way we planned. A fear that grows in the hasty judgments of social media, the realm of the moment par excellence, where a story lasts 24 hours and a good time already makes a career forgotten. But a fear that all too often, in good faith, also fuels the newspapers.
“Being world number one is a concrete goal today, the first victory in a Grand Slam tournament.” must arrive next year,” writes Gianni Valenti in the Gazzetta today, for example.
Given the sincere desire and confident admonition: If we can afford a sinner, he owes nothing. Or rather, he has to go far in the Grand Slam trials, Be there with the top 3-4 to fight for the title, but there are often details between this and triumph at a Grand Slam tournament (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open). One of them is called Novak Djokovic, so to speak, the same Djokovic who showed yesterday how big the difference There is still – and this is quite natural – between an emerging champion like Sinner and one who (like no other) has left his mark in the annals of tennis and has accumulated a literally unimaginable wealth of experience and certainties in his career.
In short, today there is rightly a lot of confidence around Sinner, who ended a season with the certainty that he had reached the level of the best. But it is tennis the devil’s sport, to quote Panatta. Primarily mental, and we really don’t realize it what kind of athletes Nadal and Djokovic were (one of the greatest not only in the history of tennis, but of sports in general), not to mention Federer, who played tennis on clay (and especially on grass and on concrete). A sport in which there has been an exception in the last fifteen years and in which a certain fluctuation in performance over the course of the year has always been physiological.
A mentally but also strenuous sport – to play it with certain intensities that Sinner and Alcaraz have – on a sporting level. Here too, it is important to evaluate how the South Tyrolean’s physique, accustomed to such a powerful and muscularly expensive game, will withstand the transformation into a perfect machine that contemporary sport requires, also because, unlike, for example, an Alcaraz, Jannik starts from a different bones – and muscle structure. Therefore, let us accumulate all the good things of recent times, without imposing overly ambitious goals on ourselves – seasoned with frustrations when they do not become reality.
We look to the present and the recent past rather than the future. Sinner has shown in recent weeks that he can beat anyone, from Medvedev down, and that he has more than a few thoughts about Djokovic – the story is different with Alcaraz, and the Spaniard suffers technically and psychologically from Jannik more than any other player. An extraordinary result, but one that was welcomed almost as a matter of course. Actually, a real turning point in my career. As he himself said:
“Today I became another player compared to the start of the season.
Do you think it’s not enough? For this reason, after the team defined it as “The disappointment of the year (2022) we can be satisfied with the 2023 vintage, to say the least. This is the best possible encouragement for the new season, from certainties that must become very solid foundations. Or to quote Sinner himself: “I would say it was a good season for a 22-year-old“.