The two-time defending Sofia Open champion and world No.11 Jannik Sinner is back in Sofia. The Italian super star returns to Bulgaria for the seventh edition of the ATP 250 tournament Sofia Open 2022 in Arena Armeec from September 25th to October 2nd. Once again Sinner conffessed his strong feeling to the Bulgarian capital during the pre-tournament press conference.
One more time here?
It is my pleasure. Nice to be back. It is all good.
You are coming for a third time, maybe with a thought for a hat trick? Bulgaria still loves you! Thank you for coming. You have a lot of fans here. How do you feel? Do you have enough space at home for a third cup?
First of all – it is always a pleasure to be here. It is a special place, especially when you win your first title. For me, it is very nice to come back. I feel good to be here. The draw this year is a little bit different. Grigor is playing, so it is nice for the crowd. Having so many great players here also – Carreno Busta, who had a very good run this year. It is going to be, hopefully, an exciting week. I will try my best like every year, and we will see what is going to happen this week.
In Bulgaria, we say the third time is always a charm. Are you ready for your third title?
It is still a long way to go. For sure, the first round is going to be difficult. And then after – every match is tough. When I play my first match – I always try to concentrate on my first match. And then, if I win – good. I will concentrate on my next opponent. If not – it was not my year. But as I said – I am very happy to be here. I feel the love from the fans. Hopefully, I can play some good tennis here, which is my main goal here, trying to show that I improved from last year, which is one of my main goals every year when I come back. Hopefully, it is going to be a positive week.
Which Jannik is the strongest? The 2020 Champion, the 2021 Champion or the 2022 Pretender?
I hope – this year. This year is a little bit different than the last year and two years ago. Every time you play a new tournament, as I said, you try your best. When there is a year in the middle, usually you are coming in a little bit different situation. This year it will be the full capacity of crowd. This will be different for me. For me as a player, I think I improved. I serve better, I am hitting the ball better. So hopefully, the new version of mine is better than the last years.
You had a great run at US Open, and you had three tough five sets-matches. Then you played for your team in Davis Cup. Did you manage to rest and restore the batteries?
For sure, in New York was tough physically, but it was good for me. I showed that I could play for five-six hours without thinking about my physical status. This Is good. In Davis Cup – it was important for me to play for Italy. We had a tough practice week. Tried to raise my tennis level. I had to recover from this practice session. For me, to stay on the court for hours doesn’t make any difference.
You already said that this tournament is different with Grigor Dimitrov in the draw. What do you think for the Bulgarian Number 1 and what do you think for an eventual semi-final Sinner-Dimitrov?
Everybody knows how good he is as a player. He has shown it already so many times, winning big titles, big matches. It is always special when someone is playing in his country. You have only one tournament – this in Sofia, so I think it is also nice for the crowd to see him playing here. I think he is going to be one of the highlights of the week because it is your Number 1, I think, idol for many here. We have a good relationship off-court. For both of us will be a long way through the semi-finals. Usually, in this kind of tournaments, you never know what is going to happen. I hope so that we can reach it both. But I am not focused on this. I am focused on my first-round match. Then we will see what is going to happen.