THE MODERATOR: Jannik, congratulations, your second ATP Tour Masters 1000 semifinal and your third top-5 win. Just talk about the victory today.
JANNIK SINNER: Yeah, for sure it was tough match knowing that he likes the conditions here. He won here last year. I lost against him two years ago. I practiced with him a couple of times, and, you know, I knew a little bit what to expect, but still in the match is a little bit different.
I’m very happy about the win today, so let’s see what’s coming next.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You played well in the first set to win it. What did he start to do better in the second set that allowed him to get into the match?
JANNIK SINNER: I started off very well, breaking him, and then holding a tricky service game gives you a lot of confidence, especially in the beginning of the match.
Then after, in the second set, he started to be a little bit more aggressive, especially on his return games. So it was tough to play.
Also, the conditions were tough. Especially after it was a little bit more windy so it was not easy to play. But still, it was, I think, a good match from both of us. The level was high. Yeah.
But I think also in the third set I started to be a little bit more aggressive.
Q. Fritz was in here just now and he mentioned the wind as well, and he thought that playing with and against the wind made a big difference today, and that you did that a bit better than him. Would you agree?
JANNIK SINNER: Yeah, for sure, one side is a little bit — both sides are tough to play, because on one side you have to make, especially when you have the wind against you, you have to make more first serves but trying to play still aggressive, maybe it’s losing a little bit of timing and everything.
But if you play with wind, it’s also tricky, because especially in the rally, you can lose it long. So it was tough.
I changed a little bit the return position at some point, which helped me a little bit. But still, it was tough, no. I felt like I was playing very well today on both sides. So, yeah, yeah, it’s tough.
Q. Did you move in on the returns? Is that the change that you made?
JANNIK SINNER: Yeah, a little bit. I moved a little bit in, especially on the deuce side. But only on first serve, because I felt like I didn’t have any chance to see the ball toss or where he was serving. So I tried at least to, you know, if the ball is there, to catch it as soon as possible to give him less time.
But still, if this one was not working, maybe I tried a little bit more back. But it’s tough to return against him. He’s serving so fast, so well. Yeah, that’s it.
Q. Can you just talk a little bit about playing in the wind at an elite level in tennis. Do you practice that often? Can you say who you think the really top wind players are? Any thoughts on that?
JANNIK SINNER: I think players who play with a lot of spin, which they play a little bit safer. I don’t know, Rafa, also Carlos, he plays with a lot of spin. They are very tough to beat.
But also players who serve very well, because it’s already tough to return in normal conditions. But also with the wind is tough to return.
I came from indoor tournament, so here is a place where it’s usually so windy. Last year was more windy. But yeah, you also have to get a little bit lucky with these kind of conditions.
But yeah, if you practice, hopefully with wind can help you a little bit also in the matches.
Q. Two things. What did Darren advise you going into the match before the match? What were some of the things that he would have suggested you do, considering the conditions? Let’s just say it’s Carlos that gets through. I know it’s very early. That whole young rivalry that’s developing and has developed so far between you and him, what do you consider going into a match like that?
JANNIK SINNER: Yeah, for sure is we had always very tough matches anyway, in every surface. So it’s obviously a big pleasure playing against him.
If it’s Carlos or if it’s Felix, against Felix I never won, so it’s 0-2. I lost with match point against Felix in Cincinnati. But yeah, let’s see. Let’s see who wins, no?
Darren, we speak not so much before the match, but he gives you like a little bit mental advice, no? But the most important, he always says, you know, be proud where you are and have fun, no, when you play. Even if I don’t smile a lot on court, but still, I have a lot of fun.
I try to take every chance, you know, playing in such a big court. With the crowd, it’s always nice to be in that position. So that’s maybe the most important advice he always gives me.
Q. Where do you think you are with your physical development now? You had two or three retirements last year. It’s easy to forget you’re still only 21, which is an age where a lot of men particularly do still find that they’re a little bit away from their physical peak?
JANNIK SINNER: For sure we have a lot of work to do still. I give my body a lot of time to develop. But for sure now I am in a much, much better position where I was one year ago. We take care of quite everything. I know also my body better, when to practice or when maybe to do only gym.
So for sure all the injuries last year and a little bit also the bad luck we had as a team gave us still the possibility to think about or to improve for this year and hopefully also for the upcoming years.
Also mentally was tough last year, so this year I feel much, much better for year. So yeah, I am for sure in a good position right now, but I feel like we have so much work to do still. I think in two, three years I will be in a very, very good position physically.
Q. How does it feel to have beaten the defending champion at a tournament that’s been kind of his home tournament since he’s from here? How do you take stock in what you have accomplished?
JANNIK SINNER: For sure happy, no, playing against him. When I saw the matchup already yesterday, I knew that what I had to expect. Tough match. Also, a little bit with the crowd, which is not against me but is more for him.
You know, I was quite prepared. We practiced fortunately before the tournament here on the same court, so as I said, I knew a little bit what to expect, and I’m very happy to be in the next round, for sure.
Yeah, but I still think he’s such an incredible player. I have a lot of respect for him, and I think he’s going to have, again, a super season.
Q. You said that Darren said to take pride and have fun, and you said part of the fun was taking every chance. What other aspects of the fun were out there, playing a great opponent in a big stadium?
JANNIK SINNER: Well, for sure, tactically, we spoke a lot how to play, I’m not gonna say what they said to me, but still, a lot of tactical things.
We start to learn also the opponent much better, which is one point where, for sure we, all of us, we invested a lot. Where in the beginning for me was tough to understand, because I used to play only with my game plan but not with my opponent’s one.
So it was tough for me, and we started exactly one year ago, me and Simone, where at some point I was a little bit struggling on court to understand when to do this or not. But now I am a different player. Also with the mindset I know when to do things or when things are not working, trying to change as soon as possible.
You know, all this kind of stuff, it’s part of my growing, for sure. Yeah, so I think the things are going quite well. For sure I still have a lot of things to improve, but thinking back in one year time, we have changed a lot of things.
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