Italian tennis is in history. Jannik Sinner is the new world number 1!


By John

Jannik Sinner is the new world number 1. “Djokovic withdraws from Roland-Garros due to right knee injury.” This is the announcement from the organization of the Parisian tournament. With the retirement of the Serbian champion, Jannick Sinner will mathematically become number one in the world from next Monday.

It was February 12, 2018 when a sixteen-year-old Jannik Sinner won his first ATP point, beating the Indian Aryan Goveas in an ITF tournament in Sharm el-Sheikh. On the Red Sea, in the winter of the warm holidays loved by Italians, the South Tyrolean wrote his name in the world rankings: place occupied 1592. Since then the unstoppable climb of the first Italian tennis player to occupy the top. On August 27 of the same year Jannik entered the top 1000 in the world (891) thanks to his first ITF final. The tournament is the Italy F23 of Santa Caterina Valgardena. Sinner lost the singles final against the German Peter Heller, but won in doubles, with his peer and friend from Trieste Giacomo Dambrosi. Another two months and more points earned: on 15 October the Italian is n.778, thanks to the round of 16 at the Challenger in Ortisei where he won his first match in this category against Giacomini. At Christmas the talented Sinner is already n.551. On 25 February 2019 the ATP ranking says 324, thanks to the success at the Challenger in Bergamo which earned the young man from Ortisei a jump of 222 positions in one week. On April 29, his entry into the top 300 in the world was the result of his first career victory on the ATP circuit, in Budapest. After passing the qualifications, he defeats the Hungarian Mate Valkusz in the first round. He lost in the second round to the Serbian Laslo Djere (then n.33) and Jannik rose to number 298.

On 22 July 2019 the Italian is n.199: thanks to the points in the second round at the ATP 250 in Umag, which comes after the final at the Challenger in Ostrava and the first match won in a Masters 1000 at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Sinner enters the top 200 for the first time. The rise continues: on 28 October, three months and a week later, Sinner enters the magic circle of the top 100 in the world. He goes up to no. 93 after the first round success over the German Philipp Kohlschreiber (no. 79 at the time) in the first round of the ATP 500 in Vienna. On 12 October 2020 he is the no. 46 in the world: but the race slows down in the meantime due to the Covid pandemic which stops everything for months, and then because the ATP has decided to allow players to use the points obtained in tournaments for two years, and not for the classic 52 weeks. In any case, Jannik enters the Top 50 after his first Slam quarter-final, at Roland Garros, which was moved to the autumn due to the pandemic. Same year, November 16, he is #37. The first ATP title arrives in Sofia with the success in the final over Vasek Pospisil. 2021 greets Sinner's entry into the top 30, with the first final in a Masters 1000 lost in Miami against his friend Hubert Hurkacz: on April 5th he is n.23 and on the 19th of the same month he takes another step forward after Monte Carlo and enters the top 20 (he is n.19). On November 1st he is in the top 10: after the semi-final in Vienna, the knockout against Frances Tiafoe, Sinner is n.9 (he is the fifth Italian to do so in the era of computerized rankings).

On April 10, 2023 the ranking says n.8. 2022 is a season of adjustment, but from 2023 he resumes his run and after the final lost in Miami he gains another position. On August 14 he finished in sixth place, after winning his first title in a Masters 1000, in Toronto. On 2 October, after the title in Beijing, he was number 4 and equaled the best ranking of Adriano Panatta, up to that point the Italian with the best ranking. Sinner steps onto the podium on 19 February 2024, exactly six years after his first ATP points. Jannik is no.3 in the world, and is thus the first Italian to reach this position after the victory in Rotterdam.

In the entire history of tennis, only Nicola Pietrangeli had been number 3 in the world, in the ranking drawn up at the end of the season for the top players, in 1959 and 1960. Last April 1st with the triumph at the Masters 1000 in Miami, Sinner is n .2 in the world. Today 4 June 2024: the date that makes history. Djokovic withdraws from Roland Garros, the Serbian needed to reach the final to avoid overtaking, and Sinner is number 1 in the world regardless. On Monday 10th the ATP ranking will establish the new ranking. In six years the young Jannik has become what Italian tennis has always dreamed of.