Jannik Sinner labelled favourite to win the French Open by a former champion

Jannik Sinner labelled favourite to win the French Open by a former champion

Francesca Schiavone has proclaimed that Jannik Sinner is the favourite to win the 2024 French Open as she highlighted her fellow Italian’s maturity. 

The 2010 French Open champion assessed that Sinner’s “physical and tactical growth” is helping him win “in a strategic and intelligent way”, while also lauding his commitment and work ethic.

Sinner has reached new heights in his career over the past seven to eight months, having lost only four matches since his fourth round defeat at the 2023 US Open in September.

The 22-year-old is at a career-high ranking of world No 2 — making him the highest-ranked Italian player ever — amid a blistering 2024 campaign to date.

Before his quarter-final clash with Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Madrid Open on Wednesday, Sinner holds a stunning 28-2 record this year.

Sinner has secured three titles: his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open; his second Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells; and the Rotterdam Open. He did not lose before the semi-finals at any of his five events prior to the ongoing Madrid Masters.

The Italian has won 13 ATP titles, although his victory at the 2022 Croatia Open in Umag is his lone clay-court tournament triumph to date.

READ MORE: ATP star picks Jannik Sinner as the best player he has ever faced over Novak Djokovic

In an interview with the QS Sport newspaper, Schiavone identified the qualities that are crucial for clay-court success and argued Sinner will be the man to beat at Roland Garros.

“Patience is the secret of those who win on clay. It takes humility and work to bring out this characteristic, while maintaining one’s identity,” said the 43-year-old Italian.

“On clay, the most intelligent wins, you have to give everything and give back a lot. With respect and professionalism, I say that Sinner is the favourite in Paris.

“With his physical and tactical growth, he managed to win in a strategic and intelligent way. He has matured, and now he manages to extend rallies, moving the ball with great patience.

“I like him not only for his character, but in particular for his commitment and desire to work hard, day after day, to achieve his goals.”

Schiavone won eight WTA singles titles and reached a career-high ranking of world No 4 during an impressive career spanning from 1998 to 2018.

Sinner recently revealed one way he recognised he had to change his approach to the sport that he feels has been crucial to his evolution.

“I am more in the gym than the tennis court right now,” he told The Financial Times. “Everybody is different. Me, for example, I have to be strong and stable.

“And I think that’s one of the reasons why I made this extra step [of winning a Grand Slam], because physically I’ve grown. When I was 20, I still didn’t have the body of a 20-year-old – and you have to accept that…”

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz-Jannik Sinner rivalry is ‘going to be very good for tennis’, says former world No 3

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