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Jannik Sinner: Rising Star

On January 28, 2024, Jannik Sinner lifted a trophy that most tennis players spend their whole lives dreaming of. The athlete, currently ranked world number four on the men’s tour, is the 2024 Australian Open champion.


 


The Australian Open is one of the four ‘Grand Slams’ that takes place every year, and these tournaments are the biggest of the season, granting their winners a large sum in prize money, a beautiful trophy, and enough points that it often propels their world rank upwards.


 


For Sinner, many would say that this win has been a long time coming. The player turned professional in 2018, but he has been playing the sport since he was seven. In fact, before choosing tennis, he was a professional skier for four years but chose to leave the sport behind as it was far too dangerous and made him more prone to injuries than tennis ever would. He has been a top-10 tennis player since November 2021.


 


Sinner has also brought pride to the hearts of Italy, where he hails from, as he is the highest-ranked Italian male player in the history of the sport, as well as only the third to ever win a slam. Overall, he is the proud winner of 11 singles titles on the tennis circuit. He even managed to cap off his incredible 2023 season by helping Italy win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1976.


 


Other accolades of his include sponsorship deals with big brands such as Rolex and Gucci, a title in doubles (with Reilly Opelka), and having the most popular group of fans in the history of tennis, the Carota Boys.


 


Dressed in bright-orange carrot costumes, the Carota Boys are a group of six Italian men who have been friends since childhood and have a long-running tradition of buying tennis tickets as birthday gifts for each other. After a clip of Sinner at the Vienna Open in 2019 went viral as he munched on a carrot mid-match, they decided to wear the costumes to one of his matches as a joke.


 


However, they didn’t expect to get as much attention as they did, but soon after the tournament in Rome, coffee company Lavazza (who also have a brand deal with Sinner) offered them funding to be at several of the sportsman’s upcoming matches. They now have their merchandise and over 122,000 followers on Instagram, and in the words of Jannik Sinner, “they are more famous than I am, to be honest.”


 


But it isn’t just the Carota Boys who have potentially inspired Sinner’s recent successes.


 


Many a tennis fan has commented on what has now been branded ‘post puke Sinner’, as the young athlete went viral for throwing up in the middle of a match versus Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinal of the China Open in October of last year. Sinner has suffered only two losses since that day.


 


In the words of Scott Barclay, a tennis journalist, “Jannik Sinner vomited in a bin last year and decided to become the greatest tennis player of all time.”


 


While the illness was later confirmed to be a case of food poisoning, this has not stopped fans from joking about its contribution to his recent victories.


 


Another reason Sinner is so important to tennis is because of the dominance we have seen in the sport by the ‘Big 3’ - Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic - for the past 20 years. While Federer has already retired, and Nadal’s retirement seems imminent, Djokovic shows no signs of slowing down.


 


But Sinner has proven to be strong competition for the 36-year-old, beating the world number one three out of the last four times they have played (including in the Australian Open semi-final).


 


Ardent fans of tennis hence need not worry about the quality of the sport declining as our old favourites slowly leave the circuit, for it seems to be in very good hands.


 


Carlos Alcaraz, world number two, is easily Sinner’s greatest competition other than Djokovic. The 20-year-old has already won two grand slam titles, including the prestigious Wimbledon trophy.


 


Sinner currently leads the head-to-head by four wins to three, but every match is extremely close, and the victor tends to come out on top with a difference of just a few points. Whenever Alcaraz and Sinner clash, viewers can be sure to expect a great battle.


 


With three grand slams and a plethora of tournaments yet to come this year, it will be interesting to see how many trophies Sinner ends the year with. He next plays in the Rotterdam Open, a tournament he has yet to win.


 


Tune in to support him and be ready to be mesmerized as you watch Sinner and tennis evolve simultaneously on center court.


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