Jannik Sinner’s love affair with the Sofia Open continued as he overcame second seed Gael Monfils 6:3, 6:4 to defend his title in Bulgaria.
Jannik, you are first back-to-back champion at Sofia Open. How more special Sofia is already?
It is very, very special. Coming back here and playing a great tournament once again for me is very very special feeling. I like the conditions here; I like the court. I think today I played very well the whole match. I felt well on court. Match after match I felt better and better and I very happy about my performance and my tournament here.
You played your fastest match against such an experienced player on the final…
It was very physical match. I think we had long rallies. When I had the chance, I took it. It was a great final. From the baseline I was good, I was serving today better. On the return games when I got the chance I tried to use it. In the second set I was twice 0-30, but he played well there. I think, today I understood the situation of the match and that made me feel quite comfortable on the court.
You are 20-years old. Gael made it 17 years in tour with at least one tournament final. What do you think about this?
That is incredible what he has achieved. So many big matches he played already. What he is doing is incredible. Moving like him on court with his age is something incredible as well. He has such a talent. And he is so nice guy off-court. We are good friends. We joke sometimes in the locker room as well. It is not easy to play against a friend as well. His achievement is so special and incredible and there is only one player that has done more – this is Rafa. It is insane!
Do you have enough space in your apartment in Monaco for this new trophy form Sofia?
I have enough space. At the moment – yes. Lifting a trophy is never easy. You have to go through moments where things are not going to be easy. You have tough situations; you have to play your best tennis. Winning a tournament is very tough at any level. I am happy to have two of this at home. Let see what is coming in the future. Everyone who knows me know that I always try to improve day after day. And let see what is coming in the next week, in the next month and year.
Would you describe what was this year for you – from Sofia Open 2020 to Sofia Open 2021?
It was a great year which made me to feel a little bit more comfortable on the court. With some ups and downs which is normal for my age. I always practice hard, I always try to have the right solution in the right time. It was a good year until now. It is still on. We have some big tournaments coming on. Tomorrow we are already travelling to Indian Wells and will try to play good there. Then after we will se what is coming. At the moment I can be happy. But I have to think about the future. It doesn’t mean anything if you lift one more trophy or one less trophy. You always have to be focused about the future. You have to want to improve. The season is still on, so we will see.
Maybe you will promise to the Bulgarian fans to come back to win another one in front of them?
Coming here for me is very very special. We will see what the next year calendar is. Why not. I play well here, I feel well. Unfortunately, this year without a crowd. I hope a lot of people saw that. Why not coming one more time here. Next time – with crowd.