ATP Montecarlo, Sinner: “Non è compito mio correggere l’arbitro”

Jannik Sinner’s adventure at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters came to an end in the semifinals against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who handed him his second defeat of the season after over two and a half hours of a great battle. A surely stinging loss for the South Tyrolean, as he himself admitted later to the Italian press in the Principality, also because of a missed call that would have put him ahead by two breaks in the deciding set.

The Greek, trailing 1-3 30-40, would have also missed (and not by a little, as can be seen from the freeze-frame) the second serve. However, no double fault was called: the line judge did not call the ball out, the umpire did not intervene, and Sinner did not stop play. The point was played out normally and won by Tsitsipas, who then closed the gap to 2-3, recovering from the break shortly after and going on to win the match. Here are Sinner’s words at the press conference.

Ubaldo Scanagatta, Ubitennis: You always say that you learn from every match, today maybe you learn that it might have been worth stopping play and calling the double fault?

Jannik Sinner: “It went that way, correcting the referee is not my job. From his position, it was quite easy to see, but you have to accept it. Each of us makes mistakes, it went that way. I lost an important match, it doesn’t always go as you want. You take it with a smile, even though it’s not easy. Tomorrow instead of being on Center Court playing a nice final, I will be at home, that’s how it is.”

Q: From next year there will be no more line judges even on clay, so what happened today won’t happen again. What do you think? How difficult is it to resume play after those moments?

Jannik Sinner: “These are things that happen, you can’t do much in the end, it’s already in the past. It’s a difficult defeat to accept and digest, I was playing really well. Even tactically everything was going in the right direction. Everyone, unfortunately or fortunately, can make mistakes. I can make mistakes too. It went that way. Cramps were probably a consequence of what happened, because then it also affects the nervous part and playing becomes more difficult. I did my best, Stefanos raised the level and the momentum changed. This is also the fun part of tennis.”

Q: How are you feeling physically?

Jannik Sinner: “It’s nothing serious, I’ve played a lot of matches in recent months despite playing few tournaments, which is a very positive thing. We made another semifinal in a ‘1000’, which is not a milestone to underestimate. I need some time to recover mentally and physically. Madrid will be a tournament for total preparation for Rome and Paris, we will work hard in the gym. If I win one or two rounds, I will be very happy, the goal will not be to win the tournament.”

Q: What aspects will you work on most during this period?

Jannik Sinner: “We will work a lot in the gym to put fuel for the next few months. After the French Open, there are Wimbledon and the Olympics, there won’t be much time but there are several tournaments that I care about and where I want to do well. From the second set onwards, I played well tactically, moving the ball well and making the right choices. we will work to be able to do it even before, maybe with some more variations. These are all little things that in the end make a difference.”

Q: Did you expect Tsitsipas to be so effective right from the start? Especially on the backhand diagonal, he often held his own and also hurt you with the line shots.

Jannik Sinner: “Stefanos is a great player, especially on clay where he has more time to adjust. In the first set, but also throughout the match, I responded poorly, or at least not as well as I wanted. I made a lot of mistakes especially on his second serve. He played a great game, he was losing and managed to raise the level in decisive moments. I didn’t serve very well at 4-3 and 4-5, that’s how it went.”