Sinner can ruin another Djokovic campaign as coach outlines ‘top priority’

Jannik Sinner’s coach has revealed that the Italian has the same priority as Novak Djokovic next year, sparking trouble for the world No 1. Both men are eager to get their hands on Olympic gold for their respective nations. Sinner has already been able to ruin one of Djokovic’s hopes of winning some hardware for his country, knocking him and Serbia out of the recent Davis Cup.

Sinner capped off an incredible 2023 season by helping Italy win the Davis Cup for the first time in 47 years. During Davis Cup Finals week, the world No 4 won all five of his matches across both singles and doubles. It included an impressive showing against Serbia in the semi-final where the 22-year-old saved three match points to beat Djokovic in the second singles rubber before he teamed up with Lorenzo Sonego to beat Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic in doubles.

The world No 1 had been vocal about his hopes of winning the Davis Cup for his nation, marking it as his biggest priority for the end of the year following the Slams but ultimately crashed out to Sinner, who is also extra motivated to represent his country. It could spell trouble for Djokovic at next year’s Olympics, with the Serb bidding to win the one accolade that has always evaded him, a gold medal.

One of Sinner’s coaches has explained just how much it means for the 22-year-old to represent his country, revealing that the big goal for 2024 was also the Olympics. “When he got injured last year in Paris-Bercy and couldn’t play in the Davis Cup, I realized how much he cares about his country because he was really devastated,” Darren Cahill told Corriere dello Sport, referencing Sinner’s 2022 injury.

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Following last year’s heartbreak, it was a successful outing for the 10-time title winner when he returned to Italy’s squad for the Davis Cup Finals. And just like Djokovic, he is now signposting another opportunity to win for his country. Cahill continued: “I would say that for next season, his top priority is none other than than the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“It is an event that we have already marked in red on our calendar because Jannik loves to represent Italy.” It will come as bad news for the 24-time Grand Slam champion, who also has his sights set on winning the Olympics and has already lost to Sinner when representing his country.

After a statement season that saw Djokovic win three of the four Grand Slam titles and four other titles, the world No 1 was asked what he could do better in 2024. “Well, you can win four slams and Olympic gold,” he smiled, speaking at the recent ATP Finals.

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It’s not the first time he has outlined the Olympics as his priority for next season, as he was already thinking about Paris back in February of this year. “I hope I’ll be able to play healthy for next year in Paris,” the 36-year-old said during the Dubai Championships.

“It’s going to be played on clay at Roland Garros, so I’m familiar with those grounds. I hope the best Olympic result for me will come there.” Djokovic’s best result at the Olympics is a bronze medal that came in 2008. At the most recent Games in Tokyo, he lost to Alexander Zverev in the semi-final and was then defeated by Pablo Carreno Busta in the bronze medal playoff.

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