Jannik Sinner’s French Open hopes in doubt as rumours swirl

Jannik Sinner’s French Open hopes in doubt as rumours swirl

Jannik Sinner would be one of the favourites to win the French Open if he could get to Paris in good shape, but that looks increasingly unlikely with less than two weeks to go before the start of the second Grand Slam of 2024.

Italian hero Sinner joined Carlos Alcaraz in withdrawing from the Italian Open in Rome due to a hip injury that forced him out of the Madrid Open earlier this month.

Sinner now faces a race to be healthy for the French Open later this month, with Alcaraz in the same boat as he continues to battle a forearm issue.

Sinner wrote on X: “It is not easy to write this message but, after speaking again with the doctors and specialists about my hip problems, I have to announce that unfortunately, I will not be able to play in Rome.

“Obviously I’m very sad that I didn’t recover, it being one of my favourite tournaments ever. I couldn’t wait to come back and play at home in front of the Italian crowd.

“I will still come to Rome for a few days and stop by the Foro Italico. Thank you for your messages of support which I appreciate very much! Now I will work with my team and doctors to be ready for Roland Garros.”

Sinner battled through matches with the injury at the Madrid Open, but it proved to be too much for him in the end and his withdrawal from his home Masters in Rome was a hammer blow.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic ‘has an advantage’ over Sinner and Alcaraz says Grand Slam champion

Now there are rumours swirling on social media platforms suggesting Sinner is ‘a major doubt’ to get back on court in time to play the French Open, with the lack of updates coming from his camp adding to the concern.

We may have expected to see images of Sinner practising ahead of his imminent return, but it seems he may only have a few days to test his hip before what could be his opening match at Roland Garros.

Sinner has not revealed the extent of his hip problem, but injuries of this nature are notoriously challenging for tennis players.

Former world No 1 Andy Murray so nearly had his career ended by a hop problem until he underwent surgery and while there is no suggestion that Sinner’s problem is anywhere near as serious, his lack of time on court ahead of the French Open is a major worry.

There has been no footage of Sinner practising since he walked off court at the Madrid Open for the last time, which suggests he is in a period of recovery before he decides on whether to play at Roland Garros.

“We all thought it wasn’t a serious problem. I don’t want to say exactly what it is,” said Sinner. “If it wasn’t 100 per cent healed, I would be forced to stop playing for a long time.

“Roland Garros? We still have to decide a few things for Paris. The preparation will not be optimal. My team and I will do our best to get there with as high a percentage as possible to compete.

“Some injuries can be prevented, others cannot. So far we have done a great job. Last year I had an injury-free season. Like this year so far. Next year we will have to figure out whether to play Monte Carlo or not. You can’t be perfect at my age.

“In Madrid there were days when I felt the pain a bit more others when I didn’t feel it. I knew something was wrong. The day after the match with (Karen) Khachanov, we saw from the MRI that there was something that was 100 per cent wrong.”

Sinner’s comments confirm he has uncertainty over whether he will be fit to compete at the French Open and even if he doesn’t play, there is a real chance he could become world No 1 for the first time at the end of the tournament.

The out-of-form Novak Djokovic needs to reach the final in Paris to stop Sinner from becoming the first Italian player to rise to the top of the ATP Rankings, with his rise to the top almost certain if he can get back on court and play to his full potential at Roland Garros.

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