Winning a tournament immediately after the triumph in the first Slam: Sinner enters the club of the magnificent 8 (where Federer and Djokovic are not present)

Exactly 21 days after the historic triumph at theAustralian Open, Jannik Sinner he managed to repeat himself immediately wearing the ranks of new Slam champion. The victory against Alex De Minaur in the 500 of Rotterdam he did not only bring the number 3 in the worldthe new absolute record for an Italian tennis player or yet another trophy in his career, but also another non-trivial goal and, in some ways, unusual for the entire circuit: being able to win the next tournament after winning the first Slam of your career. A no mean feat, also because he was the first Major it’s not just enthusiasm, but often linked to a sort of temporary knockback psychological. In short, it destabilizes, forcing one to deal with the new reference standard that has just been achieved. The expectations they increase, as do the pressures. A step forward that is not simple, which can be very complicated to achieve in a short time.

The one Sinner has reached is an extremely exclusive club, made up of just eight players in the Open era. Before the 22-year-old Italian, he was the last person to manage to achieve a similar double Leyton Hewitt between September and October 2001. Almost 23 years ago. On 10 September the Australian won his first career Slam at the US Open beating clearly in the final Pete Samprasand less than a month later (on 7 October) in Tokyo he raised the Japan Open Championship, beating the Swiss in two sets Michel Kratochvil. The previous year it had been the Russian’s turnMarat Safin. His title at the US Open (also against Pete Sampras) was merged ten days later with the Tashkent Openin which he got the better of the blue Davide Sanguinetti.

To find the first of this series we have to go back 52 years. It’s 1972 and Spanish Andrés Gimone achieves his double between the clay of Roland Garros (on Patrick Proisy) and the grass of Eastbourne. The same year also saw the first time of Ilia Nastase at the US Open (victory against Arthur Ashe), followed by the success in Seattle. Two years pass and… Jimmy Connors wins his first Slam at the Australian Open, before repeating it in his homeland, at Raonic Open. Then for 19 years nothing more. Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Andrè Agassi, Pete Sampras. None of them manage to achieve success immediately after their first Slam triumph. Then it’s the Spaniard’s turn Sergi Bruguera in 1993 he first beat Jim Courier at Roland Garros and then Karel NovÃ¡Ä ek in the Gstaad tournament. The last on the list, before the 2000s, is the Austrian Thomas Muster in 1995. He also broke his spell at Roland Garros against Michael Chang, and then raised his arms to the sky in St. Polten.

There are many names that have not succeeded in this small business. Some have already been listed above, but the most important ones must be added to these: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal e Novak Djokovic. How did their post “first Slam” go? The one who came closest to this special double was the Swiss, who won Wimbledon in 2003 but lost the final in his home tournament in Gstaad against the Czech Jiri Novak. The Spaniard and the Serbian, on the other hand, didn’t even come close. After his victory at Roland Garros in 2005, Nadal immediately exited in the first round in Halle, while Nole won the 2008 Australian Open and then only went as far as the second round in Marseille.

2024-02-19 13:19:38
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