Jannik Sinner, the first ski and tennis master: “When he was losing…”

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Jannik Sinner, the first tennis master: "When he was losing…"

"The first tennis racket? I'put it in his hand": Andreas Schönegger, Jannik Sinner&#39s first ski and tennis instructor, in an interview with Corriere del Trentino told some curious anecdotes from the South Tyrolean tennis champion&#39s childhood.

"Jannik was three and a half years old and his mother had begged me: 'Get him out of the house because he is destroying it for me'. He played with dad&agrave’s racket; bouncing the ball off mirrors, doors, windows".

Schönegger recalled the early characteristics of Sinner "athlete": "He, a runt of three, divided his time between skiing and tennis with equal success. He was a normal little boy but never missed a lesson, and when he finished, he would keep dribbling until his dadà arrived to play with him. At the first challenge he must have been five and a half years old: he was two spans shorter than the others, because it was the under-8 category, and they took him underhand. Instead he was winning. I had to explain to him: go shake hands with your opponent, you won. He couldn’t even count points".

"He wanted to win more than anything else, but if he lost he didn’t cry, he didn’t give in to emotion. He è did not change. È maybe the first thing I taught him: to win you have to know how to lose, if you are afraid of defeat you will never win. Tennis is not è soccer, you are alone: either you win or you lose, nobody helps you".

"I followed him until he was 7-8 years old,‖ concluded Schönegger. But two hours a week was too little, he wanted more. So heì dadà took him to Brunico to Mayr, his first real coach even though I put the first racket in his hand: a Head that was too big for him, he had to hold it with two hands and put it down on the ground between shots because it weighed too much…".

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