Jannik Sinner’s decision to withdraw from Italy’s Davis Cup squad has sparked criticism from compatriot Adriano Panatta.
Following his fourth-round exit from the 2023 US Open, Sinner opted to withdraw from the group stage of the 2023 Davis Cup, citing a lack of adequate recovery time between the two tournaments. Additionally, Matteo Berrettini’s absence and Fabio Fognini’s exclusion has left Team Italy with a weakened squad for the event in Bologna.
In light of the World No. 7’s withdrawal, Adriano Panatta raised concerns about the priorities of modern tennis players, emphasizing their apparent pursuit of “profit” over a sense of tradition and national pride.
Highlighting Jannik Sinner’s withdrawal from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Panatta criticized the 22-year-old for pulling out of the Davis Cup as well. He also found fault with the World No. 7 citing fatigue as the reason behind his withdrawal, drawing a comparison to MotoGP rider Francesco Bagnaia.
“Today, tennis players are businesses and, as such, they only think about profit, especially those around them, forgetting history and feelings. He had already given up on the Olympic Games, today he says no to the Davis Cup. Jannik is tired? Bagnaia, (the Italian Moto GP rider who suffered an accident last weekend) three days after the accident, was already on the bike…,” he said, as reported by We Love Tennis.
The 73-year-old also shared his support for Fabio Fognini, who recently opened up about his disappointment at his exclusion from the squad.
“I’m with Fognini. Fabio is one of the greatest talents in our tennis and he can still give a lot. Moreover, he is still the best doubles player. I don’t know why Volandri excluded him, but you should never forget everything a player has done for his country. Maybe it won’t be that big because now no one is playing in the Davis Cup, but if for some reason we were to lose a singles match, then that could be a problem, because we don’t have double. It’s a very unpleasant story,” he said.
“Jannik Sinner is a complete player, he will have a great future” – Adriano Panatta
Adriano Panatto, who won the 1976 French Open title, is the only Italian man to have won a Major title in the Open Era so far.
In an exclusive interview with Ubitennis earlier this year, Panatta expressed his admiration for Jannik Sinner and hailed him as a “new champion” for Italian tennis. He praised the 22-year-old as a “complete” player and predicted that he will have a bright future in the sport.
“I don’t know if we have found a new Panatta because 50 years have passed, but we have certainly found a new champion. Jannik Sinner is a complete player, among the young emerging players. He will have a great future. He’s a champion, that’s for sure,” Panatta said.
Jannik Sinner will be in action at the 2023 China Open next. The ATP 500 event is scheduled to commence on September 28. He will be joined by top seeds Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune in Beijing.