Over two hundred people in the stands to encourage the blue talent. The sparring partner is the baby talent Nardi
The applause starts at the first ray of sunshine. The clouds move, the light filters through and the audience of the Central of Rome arranges a nice “daje, it was time”. A drop of rain postpones Jannik Sinner’s afternoon training at the Internazionali, welcomed by more than two hundred people, especially children, all looking for autographs, selfies and balls to sign. At a certain point the ball also enters the tackle, because a boy begins to wave the scarf of Roma – fresh finalist of the Conference League – taking a string of amused applause. On the stands everyone is waiting for Jannik, dribbling the rain and clouds.
Orange t-shirt, black shorts, the usual white hat and eyes of ice. The sparring partner is Luca Nardi, 18, a talented baby who is well spoken of. He snatched a wild card for the qualifiers. He is the youngest Italian tennis player to have achieved a point in the ATP ranking at the age of 14. Sinner enters the field to applause and greets the audience in Rome. On the Pietrangeli, three years ago, thanks to a wild card, he won his first match in a Master 1000 by beating Steve Johnson in three sets. He was 17 years old and 8 months old. He will be eliminated in the second round by Tsitsipas. Memories. Scattered fragments returning. Jannik, fresh from the elimination in Madrid, clearly defeated in two sets by Auger-Aliassime, arrives in the capital with enthusiasm and desire. Very high concentration. The audience cheers him on, applause every time the game stops. He, unperturbed and focused, heats up the forehand with precise strokes. Ready for Rome.
The two days between qualifiers and the start of the first rounds are those in which you can cross the big names and hit some balls. Today Shapovalov and Fognini, yesterday the baby Rune and Kokkinakis. Few people in the stands, teenagers looking for a selfie. Rain permitting, there was the usual comings and goings of professionals in the shadow of the Forum: Osaka, Swiatek and Muguruza on the Centrale, Thiem and Tiafoe on Pietrangeli, De Minaur, Pual, Brooksby and Paire on the other fields. Traffic of stars in Rome.
May 6, 2022 (change May 6, 2022 | 4:46 pm)
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