Tennis

Jannik Sinner: ‘Switching from hard to clay is never easy. You have to be prepared’

Jannik Sinner: 'Switching from hard to clay is never easy. You have to be prepared'

Jannik Sinner was on the verge of beating Karen Khachanov at the US Open, winning the opening two sets before falling in the deciding tie break. Despite a setback, the youngster went home to Monte Carlo and started preparations for the clay swing, earning a wild card in Kitzbuhel and Rome.

Feeling like at home in Austria, Jannik took down Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes for a winning start, failing to repeat that level against a qualifier Laslo Djere, who ousted him 6-4, 6-4. Sinner spent a couple of relaxed days in Kitzbuhel with his friends and family around, enjoying on and off the court and heading back to Rome for the second Masters 1000 event of the year.

In the first round on Monday, the young gun had an easy day at the office, toppling Benoit Paire in straight sets for the second Masters 1000 victory, securing the first at the same event a year ago.

Jannik Sinner is back on the winning way after a tough US Open loss.

“I played well in the first two sets against Karen Khachanov, and then I went physically a bit down and lost 7-6 in the fifth.

The first two days after New York were not easy. The day after, I went home to Monaco. I practiced there for two days on clay with my physio and physical coach. We worked very hard to get me back on the court as soon as possible, which worked.

I am feeling good, which is the most important thing. It is a lot of work that we have done, especially on my back and legs. Trying to adapt your game to a different surface quickly is never easy. The ball is bouncing higher on clay, the kick serve is working well, so it is different from what we had on hard.

The rallies are a bit longer, and you have to be ready physically. I am trying to adapt to this strange season. Sometimes you would like to go out and try to see something different, especially when you lose in the first round at Majors.

Most of the players and I are thrilled to be back competing. The organizers had to work hard in New York and Kitzbuhel to make everything right. Kitzbuhel is a kind of a home tournament for me, with my friends and parents watching my matches.

After the US without spectators, it is nice to play in front of a bit of a crowd. I can say thanks for the wild card. Last year, in Vienna, they gave me a wild card, and now again in Kitzbuhel,” Jannik Sinner said.

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