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Djokovic Sees Sinner's Bright Future Coming Fast

By Richard Pagliaro

Pristine ball-striking and pure power are among Jannik Sinner's assets.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic says professionalism at a young age also sets the Italian teenager apart.

More: Djokovic Stops Sinner in Monte-Carlo

Down a break early, Djokovic used a four-game surge in the first set to deflate Sinner in a 6-4, 6-2 triumph at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Asked to assess Sinner's game, the 18-time Grand Slam champion praised the Miami Open finalist as a true talent who can compete with the elite.

"I think he's very talented player. He has established already himself at I feel like high level of the men's game, playing Masters finals, winning already a couple of tournaments,for his age," Djokovic said. "I think what impresses me the most is his professionalism, his dedication to the every day routines that he has to endure in order to play at such high level. I think this is why the consistency of his results is there.

"For a young player like this, what we normally would see and expect is he got a couple of good weeks here and there, but the consistency is not there until the young player matures. With him it's different. He really has a good mindset. He seems more mature for his age than the rest of the guys with the way he's playing and training."

The two-time Monte-Carlo champion used his depth, skill bending the ball into sharp angles, timely drop shots and his accuracy on the run to defuse Sinner today.

Tennis Express

Djokovic trained with Sinner's long-time coach Riccardo Piatti in his younger years—Piatti also coached 2010 Indian Wells champion Ivan Ljubicic, Roger Federer's coach—and believes the 19-year-old Italian has the qualities to produce success on all surfaces.

"He's got a good tempo. From the baseline he makes the other guy feel he's got to run a lot," Djokovic said. "I like his game. I think he has an all-around game. He can play equally well on all the surfaces, which he has proven.

"Obviously there's always things to improve. But he's in good hands. Riccardo is someone that I know very well. He was my coach when I was younger, around his age. I definitely wish him all the best. I'm sure the bright future is ahead of him."

Photo credit: Michael Reaves/Getty