Sinner: “I'll have to take care of myself.” After the withdrawal in Rome, the hip problem also puts Roland Garros at risk


By John

«We thought it was a not serious problem, but with the MRI we saw that something was 100% wrong, I don't want to say what exactly but we have everything under control. For sure, if the problem isn't cured one hundred percent, I'll stop again, I don't want to throw away three years of my career in the future. I'm in no hurry. Taking care of the body is much more important than anything.” She said it Jannik Sinner at the press conference at CONI after his withdrawal due to injury at the Rome tennis internationals. At the moment, therefore, the presence of the world number 2 is not certain even at Roland Garros: «Now I realize that rest is very important. Now it will be a period without playing, we have to see from next week how to work but we still have to decide. Obviously the preparation for Paris will not be optimal, we are quite tight, but my team and I will give our best to get there with a high percentage to compete. In Paris – Sinner reiterated – I will play anyway only if I am 100%, if there is any doubt we will see.”

The fatal news for tennis fans (not only Italians, but above all Italians) arrived yesterday on an ordinary afternoon: Jannik Sinner will not play at the Internazionali Bnl d'Italia tennis event. The hip problem that forced him to retire in Madrid is evidently much more serious than his entourage was quick to communicate. «I'm very sad that I didn't catch up, as it's one of my favorite tournaments ever. I couldn't wait to come back and play at home in front of the Italian public – wrote Sinner on X”. At this point the news, which the organizers – and not only – define as “terrible”, will inevitably affect the Internazionali Bnl whose final phase (after the qualifiers) will take place at the Foro Italico from 7 to 19 May.

What Angelo Binaghi, n.1 in Italian tennis, would like to make into “the fifth slam”, only two weeks ago seemed to be the tournament of wonders with the top 70 tennis players in the world ready to battle on the Roman red clay courts, becoming the home of the best male and female tennis players in the world for twelve days. But it won't be like that. Jannik Sinner's withdrawal, as unexpected as it is shocking, comes after that announced in recent days of the other public favourite, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who confirmed with a message on his social media profiles that he will not take part in the event due to an arm injury at the Madrid tournament. The Spanish ATP 1000 has claimed illustrious victims this year, certainly penalizing Rome. And maybe even Paris which will come later. In fact, even the Rome 2023 champion, world no. 4 Daniil Medvedev, like the two colleagues ahead of him in the rankings, has just returned from an injury in Madrid and has decided to withdraw from the Internationals.

Two of Rome's favorites and the defending champion are out at this point the public will be able to console themselves with what will probably be Rafael Nadal's last participation in the Internationals. The ten-time (absolute record) winner of Rome, who returned to the field in Spain in the last two events in Barcelona and Madrid, will be on the field to prepare for the tournament to which he is most attached and with which he would practically like to end his amazing competitive career, the Roland Garros which he won 14 times. The Majorcan, however, never holds back and in Rome, if he plays at a high level, he is necessarily one of the favourites.

The one who arrives (as always) as the tennis player to beat is Novak Djokovic. The Serbian, who withdrew in Madrid, is looking for his seventh victory at the Foro Italico which would also allow him to gain an advantage in the rankings over the three tennis players who follow him in the rankings: Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev.
Furthermore, the latest tournaments on clay have seen the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas return to high levels, winner of the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters (where he beat Jannik Sinner in the semi-final) and finalist in Barcelona, ​​where he lost to Casper Ruud, in the first ATP 500 won in his career. The Greek could represent the surprise of a crippled tournament. Italy, without its most awaited champion, still presents a large and fierce squad. In Rome, in fact, there will be all the best Italians: Lorenzo Musetti, Matteo Arnaldi, Lorenzo Sonego, Flavio Cobolli, Luciano Darderi, Luca Nardi and the wild cards Fabio Fognini, Matteo Berrettini, Matteo Gigante, Giulio Zeppieri and Andrea Vavassori.

On the women's front, at the starting line are Jasmine Paolini, winner of her first career WTA 1000 in Dubai in February, Lucia Bronzetti and Elisabetta Cocciaretto accompanied by wild cards Martina Trevisan, Sara Errani, Lucrezia Stefanini, Giorgia Pedone, Nuria Brancaccio and Matilde Paoletti .
In the women's field, Elena Rybakina defends the crown she won a year ago for the first time in her career. The No. 4 tennis player in the world will have to defend her title above all from the three players ahead of her in the rankings: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff. Also in the women's field, the withdrawal of two possible protagonists must be recorded, the American world number 5 Jessica Pegula and the Czech former WTA number 1 Karolina Pliskova who have announced that they will have to miss the 2024 Internazionali Bnl d'Italia due to injury. The latter , champion in 2019 and finalist in 2020 and 2021 at the Internazionali Bnl d'Italia, has to withdraw due to a persistent ankle injury.
In place of Pegula and Pliskova, the Chinese Yafan Wang, WTA number 71, and the Egyptian Mayar Sherif (72) enter the main draw. As a result, two places became available in the qualifiers for the American Sachia Vickery (no. 129 WTA) and the Hungarian Dalma Galfi (137). Pegula was also entered in doubles with Coco Gauff, with whom she played the last two editions of the WTA Finals. Gauff, the reigning US Open champion, will play the doubles tournament at the Foro Italico with New Zealander Erin Routliffe.
The scoreboard will be revealed on Monday in Fontana di Trevi from 11am. The program foresees that the women's main draw will be filled out first and then the men's main draw.