Coach Darren Cahill praises trainer Ferrara for Jannik Sinner’s increasing physicality

The Australian said Sinner has learned more about his body in the past couple of years

Jannik Sinner forehand Julien Nouet/Tennis Majors

When Rafael Nadal was at his absolute peak, the idea of facing him across the net, especially on clay, must have filled his opponents with dread. Not only did they have to deal with his confidence and ability; they had to cope with his incredible physicality.

Watching Jannik Sinner over the past few months, from helping Italy to Davis Cup glory at the end of last year, to his first slam title at the Australian Open and now, his first Miami Open crown, the Italian’s presence on court has been clear for everyone to see. If he’s not quite Nadal, his physicality is becoming a major weapon.

Though not as obviously physical as Nadal or perhaps Carlos Alcaraz, his maturing strength has been an integral part of his rise to a career-high No 2 in the rankings and to being the best player on the planet so far this year. That, according to Darren Cahill, is down to one man.

“Two words: Umberto Ferrara, the physical trainer,” said Cahill, whose own role in the Sinner team has been integral to his rise.

“He’s been a genius in what he’s been able to do. I think it’s really important that anybody, when you come in to a team, is that firstly you map out the progress that you need to make. You’re very clear on the training that he needed to do. You don’t try to pack in six months of work into two months. You break down the athlete. Umberto has been unbelievable in that.”

Jannik Sinner and team
Julien Nouet/Tennis Majors

Constant training regime

Cahill, who worked with Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and Simona Halep – taking them all to world No 1 – ensures that Sinner is perfectly prepared mentally for his matches and can handle the big occasions. The Australian said Sinner’s improvement has been a steady progression.

“It’s been a consistent training regime now from the moment we started nearly two years ago to what you see now with Jannik,” he said. “Umberto has been able to map out the training. Jannik is committed to it. It’s not easy. So Jannik has bought in, he’s committed to doing the work. Now he’s starting to reap the benefits of a lot of work from what he started two years ago.”

Now he has a lot more confidence in his body

There was a time, earlier in his career, when Sinner seemed to suffer from small, niggling injuries, which bothered him and caused him to doubt himself. That doubt, Cahill says, is gone.

“He will continue to do that, and hopefully he will continue to be a better athlete. More important than anything, he’s able to understand his body much better now, as well. He understands when he’s getting a slight strain or a bit of a niggle or a little bit of cramp or whatever it might be, and then there are some things you need to worry about; some things you don’t.

“I think previously he used to worry about a lot of the little feelings he had with his body. Now he has a lot more confidence in his body, and that’s thanks to the work he’s done with Umberto.”

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