Jannik Sinner was disappointed, but philosophical on Thursday night after his 6-0, 6-7(5), 7-6(8) loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Nitto ATP Finals.
The 20-year-old was roared on by a passionate crowd at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, where the fans were desperate to see another victory for the Italian No. 2, who had replaced the injured Matteo Berrettini in the field.
“It was a great year for sure,” said Sinner. “[There were] a lot of highlights and playing here especially, it was a great feeling. I grew as a player, but also as a person, which for me is very important.
“I think it was a great season and whether someone [would have] expected it or not, I don’t know. But when you are, I think I started the year [at No.] 37 and finishing [in the] Top 10 [of the FedEx ATP Rankings], it’s great. For me, it’s a big pleasure to be one of these incredible players.
“On the other hand, I know what I have to improve, my team knows that as well, so it’s going to be interesting next year. But I don’t want to rush, that’s for me the main goal. I’m 20, next year I’m 21, there’s still many, many years that I can play on the Tour.”
Medvedev Saves 2 MPs, Maintains Perfect Turin Record
Sinner led 4-2 in the decider and held two match points in the third-set tie-break, but was ultimately defeated by World No. 2 Medvedev, who remains unbeaten at the Nitto ATP Finals since losing all three matches he played on his debut in 2019.
Sinner’s debut at the season-ending finale has been more successful – he beat Hubert Hurkacz on Tuesday, becoming the youngest player to win his first match at the Nitto ATP Finals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2000.
The Italian, who has guaranteed that he will finish the year inside the Top 10 with his Nitto ATP Finals win over Hurkacz, said he was proud of the way he had bounced back from losing the first set 6-0.
“The first set, obviously, I was a little nervous,” said Sinner. “There were moments where he was not missing any balls and I tried to find a solution somehow. Then after I took a little bit more time, [I] tried to understand how to play against him. I found a solution a little bit.”
“Obviously, there were some moments when I was a little bit unlucky, but he is World No. 2 and he played an unbelievable match. Today, also, I tried my best. The atmosphere helped me a lot, so. I think it was a great match. Obviously, it was not the way I want to end it, but I think I can be proud that after a first set like this, I found a solution, which was the best thing to do.”
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Sinner says the experience in Turin will give him a lot of confidence for 2022.
“It can give me a lot of confidence for the next year, in one way. In another way, I know I have still to improve many things,” Sinner said. “Now we have time to do that, especially physically, and then we will see next year what’s coming.”