As the world still deals with the impact of COVID-19, Jannik Sinner is doing his part to raise mental health awareness. The 19-year-old Italian recently spoke about the pandemic, mental health and the launch of his Instagram series, “What’s Kept You Moving”.
“Mental health is important,” Sinner said. “Many people don’t speak about that, so I would like to speak a little bit more about that.”
The World No. 18 spent the lockdown trying to stay in shape from the confines of his Monaco apartment with the help of a fitness trainer from the Piatti Tennis Center.
“I have to say it was tough,” Sinner said. “What I missed the most was touching the ball, feeling the ball especially hearing the ball.”
The #NextGenATP star’s family members contracted COVID-19, making tennis a second priority to health.
“For me, the most important thing was my family,” the teenager said. “Everyone had COVID in my family, but everyone is safe now so I’m very glad and happy that everyone survived that.”
Sinner would rejoin the tour in August and finish the 2020 season on a high note by winning his first ATP Tour title in Sofia. He’d start 2021 with a second title, at the Great Ocean Road Open. After reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and appearing in the semi-finals in Barcelona, Sinner made his Top 20 debut.
As his star rises on court, Sinner wants to use his growing platform to increase mental health awareness, especially in young people.
“I think many young people don’t talk much about tough situations in their lives. It doesn’t have to be only COVID, but all the rest together,” Sinner said. “I think if you have a great family behind you, don’t be scared about talking with them about everything. You have to be honest with yourself, even if it hurts trying to speak about that. I think it’s not only in normal life, but even if you play sports, the mental part is maybe the most important thing you have in your life.”
His Instagram series has seen him speak with sports figures about how their life has changed because of the pandemic.
“I think it’s very interesting to see other people’s opinions,” Sinner said. “I’m looking forward to speaking with normal people with normal jobs. Just trying to mix it up as much as possible.”
This week in Madrid, he’s into the second round after Guido Pella retired while Sinner was leading 6-2, 4-4. Sinner will next take on Alexei Popyrin Wednesday.