They say I’m not Italian, but fortunately (or unfortunately) I am. Jannik Sinner and the necessary revolution


By John

Syndicate. Review everything. Italy has been a country of debate since the late Middle Ages, when there was a need to take a seat in the Guelph or Ghibelline factions. There is no middle ground, even in good events. And so the phenomenon (both in a broad and narrow sense) Jannik Sinner has become yet another “ground for comparison” between those who are on one side and those who say the opposite and are on the other. No, this time the discussion is not purely technical (even though Italy is a country of navigators, saints, Guelphs-Ghibellines and… coaches), but is focused on the origins of the tennis player born in San Candido, in the province of Bolzano. An excessively suspicious closeness to Austria and Switzerland in the eyes of those who are “mayors” by profession. And this time he also had to work a little because the very white color of his skin, at first glance, does not offer any other kind of assistance to fans of the race (well yes, they still exist and share the same air that we breathe) . Those who, so to speak: “Balotelli is not very Italian, Paola Egonu has origins from another country, etc. etc.”. Those who, from “cases” of this kind, are disturbed as if they were bothered by an itch.

“And yet, he too… don’t accept the call up to the national team!”. Gosh. What an affront! What a shame to “wash away” with skepticism! Because it is easier to swell the ranks of enough against it than to delve deeper. The great refusal – not too far away in time, but on the eve of the previous round of the Davis Cup – was not at all due to his aversion to the Italian colors (of his nation, therefore) nor to a bout of foreign-loving nostalgia (he will be closer in Geneva than in Rome, but up to imaginative reinterpretations of the borders of the country, his home is the same as that of Totti, Leopardi, Pippo Baudo and Panatta). Even because the “no, thanks” to Davis a few weeks ago has a much deeper motivationbut hardly acceptable for lovers of conspiracy theories, therefore to be discarded a priori: Jannik Sinner (if his name had been Gianni Sinneri we would be talking about something else here) needed to catch his breath after a delirious season in terms of physical effort. For other Azzurri – see Matteo Berrettini – the excess of generosity (which, let’s be clear, is no less deserving of praise, on the contrary…) has cost them dearly (injury after injury). Judging by the outcome of the program chosen by Sinner, i.e. final of the end-of-year Masters and final (for now…) of the Davis Cup (reached as an absolute protagonist), he was probably right. He handled himself well. And even if he himself, for just one second in his career, did not feel fully Italian (by dint of hearing certain things, in the end one even believes it) the Davis effect will have completed the tennis transmutation. Because Italians fortunately know how to do this too.