Italy’s Jannik Sinner, on Monday, broke into the top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in his career. He rose two places to occupy the 9th spot in the rankings following his run to the Erste Bank Open semifinals. Meanwhile the 20-year-old has taken a big step towards qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin by climbing up to the eighth and finals spot. The season-ending ATP Finals on the men’s tour is played between the top eight singles players and doubles teams and will be held from November 14-21.
World number one Novak Djokovic, U.S. Open champion Baniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev,Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini have qualified for the event with two spots yet to be confirmed.
The five-time ATP Tour titleist Sinner is only the fifth player from his country to break into the elite group, joining Matteo Berrettini, Adriano Panatta, Corrado Barazzutti and Fabio Fogini. Meanwhile Sinner is the youngest player in the top 10 by more than two years, with Casper Ruud nearing his 23rd birthday.
It’s impressive how quickly Sinner has reached the top 10. The San Candido native didn’t turn his focus to tennis until his early teens. Four years ago, he didn’t have a FedEx ATP ranking. Last month Sinner reached the semifinals at the Vienna open. Prior to that he won the title in Antwerp after defeating Diego Schwartzman in the final.
Sinner defeated Gael Monfils in straight sets in the final to clinch the title in Sofia. And then, in august, he triumphed at Citi open. He was also crowned champion at the Miami Masters, and is 45-19 in the season.
Sinner is not someone who is blinded by accolades, he is a very matured professional.
“For sure I don’t want to rush so much,” Sinner said in Indian Wells. “I’m just trying… to play match after match in the best possible way, and we’ll see. [I’m] trying to improve.”
The italian made his first ATP Masters 1000 final this year in Miami, where he player Alexander Bublik during the run. The Kazakhstani asked him afterwards whether he was human.
“He’s not [human]. That’s a fact,” Bublik said. “I asked him if he’s a human or not because for me, it’s very surprising that the guy at his age has this mental toughness that many, many other players don’t have. I called him a robot a couple of times during the match, but I do it in a very sincere way because he’s a really, really great player.”
Two weeks ago, Sinner played 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic in Monte Carlo. The Serbian won the match but had high praise for the Italian youngster.
“[Jannik] has got a lot of talent and he has proven that he is the future of our sport. Actually, he is already the present of our sport [having] played a final [in an] ATP Masters 1000 [event] already,” Djokovic said. “He is making big strides in professional tennis.”