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Jannik Sinner, now aged 22 and ranked world #4, has had a fantastic 2023 season with a 53-14 win-loss record to date ahead of his quarter final against Frances Tiafoe at the ATP 500 Vienna early tommorow morning AEDT.

He has won three titles this year to take his career tally to nine. Among them his maiden Masters 1000 title in Toronto at the Canadian Open his biggest title to date. This season alone, Jannik has taken incremental steps, with his three titles coming at all three different levels: ATP 250, ATP 500, and the above-mentioned Masters 1000 title. There now only remains one level of title to win for Jannik and that is the highest level of this sport, one of the four major titles.

Jannik is still very young. Since he won the 2019 ATP Next Gen finals defeating Alex de Minaur and then reached the top Ten ranking by the age of 20, he has stayed around that ranking ever since. It's been clear to see that Jannik is a special talent, and when it all clicks, he can beat anyone.

The question remains though, can Jannik take the next step and the final step to not only make a major final in 2024 and beyond but win one? He has reached the quarterfinal stage or better at all four majors. including reaching a semifinal at Wimbledon this year. That level of consistency shows he is an all-surface threat and his game is adaptable to any surface.

Jannik grew up spending lots of time on the ski slopes in Northern Italy, where he won national titles as a junior skier. It's not hard to see in his game that his movement and balance from his junior skiing days have certainly transitioned to the tennis court, something that the great Novak Djokovic also shares in common with Jannik.

Not only is his movement and balance a key part of his game, but the easy power he can produce from his long rangy arms off both wings is impressive. All the tools are there with Jannik's game, I believe it's the mind game where he needs to take the next step. There has been evidence of that aspect of his game this season.

Winning his biggest title to date, and after losing two finals to Daniil Medvedev earlier in the season, he would beat him in their most recent meeting the final of the ATP 500 in Beijing. Other notable wins this season have come against Alcaraz twice, Tsitsipas (avenging his fifth-set Australian Open loss to him) Fritz, Rublev, and Hurkacz among others.

In 2022 he lost a couple of heartbreakers in the Wimbledon quarterfinal, where he was up two sets to love on Novak Djokovic, and the US Open quarterfinal, where he had a match point versus Alcaraz in that epic five-set match, on both those occasions the players he lost to went on to win the title.

These are the bumps and bruises and crushing losses that all champions have to go through. We have seen with Alcaraz that he is a quick learner and he can bounce back from crushing losses like his French Open final loss to Djokovic to turn it around and beat him only weeks later in the Wimbledon final.

Now clearly Alcaraz is a freakish talent and has been compared to the big three, such is his achievements at a young age.

Jannik's rise may not have been as quick as Alcaraz's, but he does have a winning head-to-head record Vs Alcaraz at 4-3. The steady improvement Sinner has shown over the years has him set to take the huge step of first making a major final but also winning one in 2024.

There are of course some obstacles still to overcome with a 0-3 record versus Djokovic and the same 0-3 record versus a returning Nadal in 2024, the mental edge these two hold over the rest of the tour is still such a hurdle to overcome for them.

The 2024 season is the time for Jannik to go to that next level with all he has learned over the past four or five years on tour and the incredible talent he possesses. With Darren Cahill and full-time coach Simon Vagnozzi in his corner can Jannik ascend to the very top level of the sport in 2024?


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