Prioritizing events ahead of the Australian Open, rising Italian tennis star Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Antalya Open, the event that will kickstart the 2021 men’s Tour.
To be hosted by the Turkish city, the tournament will be staged from January 6 to 12.
Jannik Sinner to train with Rafael Nadal for Australian Open
It is understood that the 19-year-old, who won his maiden ATP Tour title at the Sofia Open last year, will fly straight to Australia and go into 14 days of quarantine.
Sinner, who made the quarter-final of the French Open last year before bowing out in straight sets to 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, will train with the Spaniard before the Australian Open.
Currently at 37th in the world rankings, Sinner is the eighth player after Borna Coric, Marco Cecchinato, Lloyd Harris, Ilya Ivashka, Benoit Paire, Marco Turngelliti and Taro Daniel to pull out of the season opener.
Sinner the youngest on men’s Tour finish inside Top-100 in 2020
The Italian was the first player of his age on the men’s Tour to finish inside the Top-100 of the ATP rankings last year.
Following bulk pullouts, the tournament organizers have brought out a revised list of participants which includes the likes of 2019 US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini, his fellow Italian, and last year’s Monte Carlo champion Fabio Fognini, Austrian David Goffin, rising Australian Alex De Minaur and Jan-Lennard Struff.
Sinner made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open last year but couldn’t progress beyond the second round.
Sinner the youngest Italian to win Tour title in Open Era
He fared even worse at the US Open, going down in five sets to Russian Karen Khachanov in the opening round. He was up two to love but lost his way thereafter to eventually go down to the Russian in five sets.
However, his moment of glory arrived at Sofia in Bulgaria when he got the better of veteran Canadian Vasek Pospisil in five fiercely contested sets to lift the Trophy.
In the process, he became the youngest Italian to lift a Tour trophy in the Open Era. He did beat Goffin to reach his first quarter-final in an ATP 500 in Rotterdam, but lost to Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in the round-of-8.
However, the Italian has been marked out as a special talent and a challenger to the Big Three’s hold on the Grand Slam going forward.