Goran Ivanisevic admits he is a “huge fan” of Jannik Sinner and says the teenager will prove to be a better player than his Italian compatriot Matteo Berrettini.
Sinner took his sixth ATP Tour singles title and the first of the 2022 season in style on Sunday as he sent top class and favorite Carlos Alcaraz 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-1 in Croatia’s Open Umag last.
It was a big statement from Sinner, as Alcaraz has been in sensational form this year with four titles – including two ATP Masters 1000 events – while at number 5 in the ATP rankings.
However, the Italian outclassed the 19-year-old on the day and cemented his place in the world’s top 10.
Ivanisevic, who coaches world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, is a great admirer of Sinner and believes he has a great future.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Sinner since he was a kid. He is humble, he has a huge talent and he is growing very well,” he told Italy La Republica. “He is the future of tennis and he will be able to win any Grand Slam. Even against Nole in London [during the quarter-final at Wimbledon] he played in an extraordinary way in the first two sets.”
He added: “He was wrong to give up and withdraw in the third set. You can’t let Nole breathe. You must finish him immediately.”
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner could share one of the sport’s great rivalries
Sinner is currently Italy’s No. 1 with Berrettini No. 14 in the rankings after a year of injuries. However, Berrettini has taken the lead in Italy in recent years as he won seven singles titles and reached the 2021 Wimbledon final.
However, Ivanisevic believes Sinner will eventually become a better player than his compatriot as he highlighted some of the 20-year-old’s key skills
“Jannik improves him a lot, even though he still doesn’t put his legs in the right way in my opinion. Berrettini is serving better than him at the moment. I was different, lower ball and faster.”
He continued: “As a tennis fan, I prefer Jannik. No doubt.
“Because I like his tennis more. Matteo is great, he has a great service, his slices are effective, it’s good to watch. But in my opinion Sinner will be even better. Jannik has an exceptional response, forehand and backhand from the baseline.
“If he goes more to the net and improves his volleys, he is at the top. He missed that against Djokovic.”