Jannik Sinner also risks missing Roland Garros: here's why


By John

That Jannik Sinner could participate in the next edition of Roland Garros remains a rather difficult option“. After the statements of the Italian champion who, on the eve of the Internazionali Bnl d'Italia, explained the reasons for his withdrawal, making it clear that he was not at all sure of returning for the Parisian slam, AGI asked an expert whether Sinner's problem could actually be resolved in a couple of weeks.

We turned to Daniele Mazzaspecialist in Orthopedics and Traumatology and doctor of the U21 men's national football team. According to the specialist, Sinner's presence at Roland Garros is in strong doubt for three reasons. Let's see them.

“First of all, there is a temporal reason – explains Mazza – that is, the event, which is scheduled to start on May 20th, does not guarantee the time necessary for the complete recovery of the pathology and we know well how the tennis player only wants to be there 100%”https: //gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/sport/2024/05/15/jannik-sinner-rischia-di-saltare-anche-il-roland-garros-ecco-perche-055c7018-4ade-4ba6-b2d7-462fea4001cc/.” Secondly, the preparation for the slam – adds the doctor – in fact after every injury the athletes need a period of re-athleticisation, that is, recovery of their physical condition which brings them back to their pre-injury conditions”. Finally there is a third reason which, he explains, “is purely technical”, in fact “Roland Garros, being a Grand Slam tournament, is played over 5 sets and therefore the efforts would probably be exaggerated”.

Jannik Sinner did not want to go into detail about his physical problem, but Dr. Mazza explains that, “although it remains a mystery to us what the pathology is afflicting Jannik Sinner, it is undoubtedly an 'overuse' condition, i.e. from overload. One of the conditions – he explains again, entering the scope of his expertise – that can develop is synovitis of the hip, that is, an inflammatory process of the synovial membrane, the tissue that surrounds the joints. In this case the inflamed synovium increases the synovial fluid inside the hip joint and pain occurs in coxofemoral movements. Another condition that occurs more frequently in high-level tennis players – continues Mazza – is the development of femoro-acetabular impingement (or Fai), that is, a pathology that progressively causes changes in the shape of the head of the femur or the acetabulum and manifests itself with pain on hip movements. In this case, once the acute phase of pain has passed, it cannot be ruled out that in the future there may be episodes again that force the athlete to stop for periods”. There is also a third hypothesis, which however should not concern Sinner: “The stop may be linked to insertional inflammatory pathologies of the hip tendons, but – he adds – this statistically remains the option with the least possibility”.

Whatever Sinner's problem is, explains Daniele Mazza to AGI, who, as a specialist in Orthopedics and Traumatology and doctor of the U21 men's national football team, has often treated similar problems, “in any case the basis of the therapy is 'rest, that is, the reduction of the stresses that caused the overuse of the joint, aided by targeted anti-inflammatory therapies.” Alongside these, he adds, he will have to follow a physiotherapy course.

“In the physiotherapy process – he explains – water, i.e. hydrokinesitherapy, represents the best means to guarantee controlled movements of the joint, without putting too much stress on it. Physical means, such as for example tecartherapy and laser therapy, are undoubtedly helpful”. And for this reason Sinner has decided to rely on Juventus' J-Medical where the physiotherapy and recovery of the tennis player will be entrusted to the hands and skills of Giacomo Naldi, who had already treated Sinner's ankle in 2022, when he was injured ' to Sofia. In these weeks which have seen a sort of 'massacre' of champions stopped due to injuries – Sinner and Alcaraz above all, but also Berrettini, Medvedev, Humbert – the question arises again as to why there are so many physical problems in champions who are still very young. On this point, Dr. Mazza's opinion is linked to experience (he has often dealt professionally with tennis players). “The incidence of injuries in tennis is progressively increasing – he explains – and this is linked to an increase in playing hours, but above all to the alternation of different surfaces which do not allow the athlete's body to get used to its characteristics Furthermore, it is a sport characterized by accelerations, decelerations, sudden changes in direction – he adds, they also go back to Sinner's injury – all stresses that can cause pro-inflammatory stimuli in our body suffering from coxofemoral pathologies, i.e. of the hip, it is enough to remember – he concludes – that Andy Murray at just 32 years of age had to undergo a hip resurfacing surgery, which kept him away from the tennis courts game for a long time.”