T Tennis

Nicola Pietrangeli doesn't mince his words. © ANSA / ANGELO CARCONI / Z4Z

With a wild demand: Italy's icon fuels the Sinner debate

With his 44 tournament wins, Nicola Pietrangeli is the best tennis player Italy has ever produced. The almost 90-year-old has cult and legendary status in the boot state. His word is heard. It's all the more surprising how he's now dishing it out in the direction of Jannik Sinner.

Jannik Sinner caused a lot of discussion on Thursday with his cancellation for the Davis Cup group phase in Bologna. The 22-year-old justified his decision after his physical exertion at the US Open not having had enough time to regenerate. At the same time, he emphasized: “For me it is always a great honor to play for the national team.”

In tennis-loving Italy, the Sinner decision sparked a heated discussion - also because, in addition to superstar Sinner, the injured Matteo Berrettini will not be available for the Davis Cup in Bologna.

Jannik Sinner last played at the US Open. © APA/afp / COREY SIPKIN

Now tennis legend Nicola Pietrangeli is further fueling this debate. Although he emphasizes: “I don't want to go into the Sinner case, I'm speaking in general terms,” his words are unmistakable: “I say that the highest goal of an athlete is to represent his country. This is definitely an honor, regardless of the result.” The two-time Roland Garros winner, who won the Davis Cup as captain in 1976, holds the Italian record for player appearances in this cup with 120 victories in singles and doubles.
“If you play a tournament somewhere else, the association should disqualify you.” Nicholas Pietrangeli

In a telephone conversation with the press agency HANDLE On the occasion of his 90th birthday on September 11th, Pietrangeli said: "If you refuse because you are sick, then that's fine. But if you refuse and play a tournament somewhere else, then the association should disqualify you for at least a year," he said Pietrangelis and emphasizes: “You don't necessarily have to win, but you have to try. And there shouldn't be any excuses or alibis, but I'm not naming specific names here, I'm speaking in general terms so that it's clear."

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Hermann Zanier

Mr. Pietrangeli doesn't hand out against Sinner, who needs to rest and won't play another tournament. So Sinner cannot be the target of a general criticism.

08.09.2023 08:34

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