Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev pose with their trophies after the Men’s final.
In October 2023, 22-year-old Jannik Sinner emerged victorious out of two mentally strenuous matches to win the China Open. This success is mainly due to his consistent groundstrokes and ability to persevere during rallies that last for minutes on end. Defeating both Carlos Alcaraz (20 years old) in the semifinals and Daniil Medvedev (27 years old) in the finals, it has become clear to viewers that a new generation of tennis legends has begun to stake their claim for the title of No. 1 player in the world.
Approaching the semi-finals in Beijing, it was predicted across the world that the young and up-coming Alcaraz would trounce Sinner. However, this was proved wrong on October 3 when the Italian player emerged victorious with a score of 7-6, 6-1. Sinner's consistent serves and mental fortitude eventually earned him the win. Within this nerve-wracking game, there were a multitude of high-pressure points to which Alcaraz succumbed. Sinner was able to win five out of eight breakpoints, while the Spanish player only obtained two out of nine. One of his most successful shots was after a long rally of backhands, Sinner would drive the ball down the line into the back corner. After a first set full of points consisting of up to dozens of exchanges, the Italian pulled ahead and won the tiebreaker 7-4. After this loss, Alcaraz was unable to find the mental strength within himself to bounce back. With this surge of confidence, Sinner was ready to face Medvedev in the finals in his quest to win the Beijing Open.
Similarly, to his match against Alcaraz, Sinner pulled off the win by pushing Medvedev mentally. As the game went on, Sinner limited Medvedev’s opportunities to gain control over points. This was far from the first time these two players met. Sinner knew far too well what losing to his Russian opponent felt like as he had been previously defeated 6 times already. Since then, Sinner has immensely improved both his mental and physical game, prompting the media to recognize how evenly matched the two players are. However, what allowed the Italian to succeed was superior net play and mental resilience during game-altering points. He won the finals 7-6 7-6, both tiebreaks ending in 7-2. During the trophy ceremony, Sinner elaborated on his journey to victory saying, “We have had some very tough battles, especially this year. Thanks for making me a much better player. I have been training a lot to beat you.” Despite the bigger goal of winning the tournament at stake, Sinner considered finally beating his rival as victory enough.
By winning these two entrancing matches, Sinner has staked his name as a serious competitor for the younger generation. After beating the second (Alcaraz) and third seed (Medvedev), there seems to be no one other than Novak Djokovic standing in the way of achieving his ultimate goal of being the highest-seeded player in the world. It has become apparent that Sinner’s relentless mental game will serve him well against any up-and-coming player of his generation. Paired with his multitude of technical strengths, it is certain that a great number of achievements are to follow this incredible win for Sinner.