The young 19-years-old Italian Jannik Sinner (ITA) went to the second round at his first Sofia Open participation. The Italian kept his positive year balance and keep the pace this year after playing in quarter-finals at Roland Garros earlier in 2020. This year he won against big names as Alexandar Zverev, David Goffin and Stefanos Tsitsipas. In the second meeting with Marton Fucsovics this year he took revenge 6:2:6:4 in almost 100 minutes. Sinner has a great chance to go to the quarter-finals but first has to go through the lucky loser Mar-Andrea Hoesler.
Sinner met virtually with journalists after his first win.
What are your thoughts for the match?
It was quite tough. I lost to him at the Australian Open in three sets. I knew he is a very solid player. I was serving well. The first round matches are not easy for everyone. I tried to be solid. At the beginning of the match, both were playing quite well, moving well. I went up with one break. So it was easier. But you always have to be focused. In the second set, I was a break up, and then he recovered. It was two-three points in each set that decided the match.
What are your impressions with the tournament?
I like Sofia. Being in a bubble, we cannot see outside. But I like it. Like the courts. It is fine to play in front of some fans. To be honest, I missed the fans a little bit. Even if it is not that much, but it is nice to see, I think for every player.
The level of the Italian tennis is raising…
About Italian tennis – I think it is raising. There are so many players amongst the top 100, so many younger guys are coming, even out of top 100. They are very strong. The national team is also strong. I think we are a little bit lucky because we have many Challengers in Italy and you may raise your level playing with top 150 or top 100 guys. You can play every week with them. It is good. I am very excited about Italian tennis, and I hope better things are coming.
What are your objectives here in Sofia, and what do you want to improve?
In the beginning, I was doing different sports as well. I was skiing a little bit, playing football, tennis. So I have always been a little bit in movement. And came this point when I decided to play tennis because I liked it and it is this kind of decisions that are not that easy. But if you chose one thing, you have to go for it. I think I’ve done this. Obviously playing now here in this kind of tournaments like Sofia or whatever is nice. And being part of the main draw as well, starting to play without wild cards, it is good for me. Obviously, I am trying to improve week after week. After this week, we are off. The hard part is coming – the time between the seasons. I guess – the hardest part for every player – preparing for 20-21. I will try to do the start of the season well, to start strong in Australia.
What has changed this year for you?
I think, especially when you are young, it is not about winning. It is about trying to improve. Unfortunately this year was like…with the virus it has been a tough year for everyone. We have to be happy, we are healthy. ATP is doing a great job, and we can play tournaments in this very difficult period, knowing that family and friends are much more important than playing tennis. But tennis is a priority for me. This year I wanted to stay a whole year in ATP, in the circuit trying to understand many things. That is the main thing what I missed this year. As a person, everything is all the same. When you play tennis day after day, I feel comfortable on the court. Playing matches after matches is very important. The practice time is the same.
What do you know about your next opponent – Mark-Andrea Hoesler?
I know he is lefty, serving well, going to the net. Obviously, it will be not an easy match for sure. Especially when you don’t know the guy and playing against him is never easy. I have to try to be focused from the first point. Then we will see. I have seen him in Kitzbuhel – he played on the semi-final or the final. So he is a tough player. We are going to see tomorrow how it goes.