Restored Sinner living in the present

The world No.2's best showing at Roland-Garros was a fourth round run in 2020

Jannik Sinner, Media Day, Roland-Garros 2024©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

A year ago, in the build up to Roland-Garros 2023, Jannik Sinner sat down with in Paris and stated: "I'm not afraid of nobody, because I have a great potential, I have the tennis, so it's a question of time."

Twelve months on and the headstrong Italian has fulfilled his major potential, lifting his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.

A sublime season has been stalled by a right hip injury, however, sustained at the Madrid Masters last month. The world No.2 begrudgingly withdrew from his home Masters in Rome, but has rested, recuperated and is back in Paris for another major title charge.

"The hip feels good. I'm not concerned anymore about my hip. The last tests we made, they were very positive. That's why I'm here," said the 22-year-old.

"For sure, the general physical shape is not there where I want it to be, but we cannot make miracles in less than 10 days before the first-round match. But I'm happy to be here. Look, it's not been an easy period for me, not playing Rome, which is a very special tournament.

"Most importantly it's going to be the mental side, of being mentally ready, accepting things what could happen on the court, and then we see what I can do."

Despite his lack of serious preparation, Sinner insists he still has expectations and high hopes in the French capital. However, with his usual humble rhetoric, the Italian is banishing any complacency or claim to a guaranteed deep run as a top tier seed.

"Look, pressure is a privilege. It's not like I don't have pressure or I have incredible pressure. I don't like when people say you need to win or you need to be in the second week. You can, but you never need to. That's my approach of the sport, no?

"When you say you have to, in my point of view, it's already wrong. Every match you play, you still start from 0-0, and the better player wins.

"It's very easy, the sport. I'm happy, it's more important thing is to be happy. I know in my mind that I can play good tennis even with this kind of shape where I am right now, and hopefully I can stay here longer than last year.

"I made second round last year. Let's see what I can do this year."

Jannik Sinner, practice, Roland-Garros 2024©Loic Wacziak / FFT

There's plenty of chatter among media and fans that this year's men's draw is wide open, considering plenty of leading contenders are not at their peak, or are struggling physically. Sinner is all about tunnel vision.

"Look, at the moment, I look a lot about myself. I'm not looking around so much," stated the Australian Open champion. "I come to the club, I do my things, and I'm away again. 

"I know that it might be a little bit more open, but I have my job to do on Monday, I have one opponent there. All these questions will be answered in a little bit more than two weeks. Nobody can tell the future."

Sinner has world No.43 Christopher Eubanks in his sights in round one. The No.2 seed dispatched the big-hitting American in straight sets in their only previous clash at the 2022 US Open.

"First-round match is going to be very tough. Not so much rhythm. He's a different player, huge server. Let's see what's coming," stated Sinner.

"For me, most importantly are the next couple of days of practice session, hopefully to find a good rhythm and then we see what I can do."