Jannik Sinner’s parents: All about his upbringing

Jannik Sinner’s having a Wimbledon tournament to remember. The Italian tennis player prevailed over Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in four sets, which was probably one more than he would have liked. The likely tired Sinner faces a tough test in the competition’s quarter-final, coming up against six-time champion Novak Djokovic, who dispensed with Tim van Rijthoven in four sets. 

Sinner is a soft-spoken character who quietly goes about his business on the court. He’s credited his upbringing in northern Italy as the source of his composure and love for tennis. 

This piece looks at Jannik Sinner’s parents. 

Jannik grew up in a German-speaking region of northern Italy

Jannik Sinner was born on 16th August 2001 to Johann and Siglinde Sinner in San Candido, Italy. The northern Italy region of South Tyrol he grew up in was an Austrian territory until World War I and is predominantly German-speaking.

Therefore, Jannik and his brother Marc grew up speaking German. During his teens, his basic knowledge of Italian presented a problem. 

Jannik’s parents sent him to Liguria in northwestern Italy to train at the Riccardo Piatti Academy to improve his tennis skills. The language barrier complicated his stay with coach Luka Cvjetkovic. Jannik told GQ:

“He had two children and a dog, I felt at home. The only problem: the language. I had the basics of Italian. When Luka was not at home, I had to express myself in gestures with others. The rhythms of my life changed.”

Jannik is now fluent in Italian. 

Sinner inherited his work ethic and calmness from his parents

Jannik Sinner started skiing and playing tennis aged three. He gave up tennis from eight to twelve years old, becoming one of Italy’s top junior skiers. 

At age thirteen, Jannik’s father convinced him to reconsider tennis, which turned out to be the right decision. “My dad came and said, ‘Let’s try once more,’” Sinner told ATP Tour. “From that point, I really enjoyed it.”

Sinner drew the inspiration to work hard from his parents. Siglinde works as a waitress at a restaurant where Johann serves as a chef. Jannik said:

“I have (my work ethic) from my parents because they are working every day in a simple job. They know what it means to work hard. They gave me this kind of mindset, always trying your best day after day, and trying to not lose energy during your job.”

Sinner also said that he drew his characteristic calmness from Siglinde and Johann. He told Marca that level-headedness is an essential tenet of his game:

“It all comes from the education I received from my parents. My father is a cook and my mother is a waitress in the same restaurant and they respect work a lot. They always taught me to respect everyone. Staying calm on the court or, at least trying, is essential for a tennis player.”

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