By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Emotional hangovers can haunt even experienced players.
Jannik Sinner says he’s shaken off the ATP Finals thrashing he absorbed at the hands of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final and is ready to roll in the Davis Cup Finals.
“I think every player in the end of the season is a little bit tired. Not only physically but also mentally,” Sinner said. “It has been a really long season for all of us. Obviously every week is different.
“I came here not so long ago, but physically I feel ready to compete 100%. Tomorrow I have still one practice day, which I will use to practice, but also trying to rest.”
A strong Italian squad of Sinner, Lorenzo Musetti, Lorenzo Sonego, Matteo Arnaldi and Simone Bolelli face The Netherlands in Thursday’s 10 a.m. quarterfinal on the indoor hard court of Malaga, Spain.
Tallon Griekspoor, Botic Van de Zandschulp, Wesley Koolhof, Matwe Middelkoop lead captain Paul Haarhuis’ Dutch squad.
Griekspoor said Sinner is playing the best tennis of his career right now, but also figures to be fatigued coming off five matches in eight days in Turin.
“I think he’s playing the best tennis he’s ever been playing in his life,” Griekspoor said of Sinner. “Playing the Finals of the Masters is something really big.
Yeah, it’s going to be a really, really hard and tough match, but I’m looking forward to it. Tough challenge, but I feel like I have a chance.
“I will get some chances here and there, going to be really hard, have to play my best. Like you said, hopefully he’s a bit tired. He played a lot, the Italian crowd behind him all week. Yeah, tough match. That’s all I can say for now. Looking forward to face him on Thursday.”
The winner of the Italy vs. Netherlands quarterfinal will play either a Serbian squad led by Djokovic or a British team headed by Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper.
Italy is the only team that boasts three players—Sinner, Sonego and Musetti—who have scored a singles win over Djokovic.
World No. 4 Sinner, the first Italian in the 54-year history of the ATP Finals to contest the title match, said the Italian team is focused on capturing its first Davis Cup since 1976.
“I think it’s a really, really important week for all of us. Came here yesterday with obviously good feelings,” Sinner said. “It doesn’t really matter what happened last week. Here is completely new situation.
“It’s a team event, so happy to join the Italian team….