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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday March 18, 2023

Jannik Sinner has been thriving under the tutelage of Darren Cahill, the former coach of Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and Simona Halep, as he climbs the rankings.

Tennis Express

The 21-year-old says that oftentimes Cahill’s pre-match to him is simple: have fun and let your tennis do the talking.

“Darren, we speak not so much before the match, but he gives you like a little bit mental advice, no?” Sinner told reporters after his 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Taylor Fritz in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals. “But the most important, he always says: be proud where you are and have fun when you play.”

Sinner carries a serious disposition on court, but he assured reporters on Thursday that he is enjoying himself very much.

“Even if I don't smile a lot on court, but still, I have a lot of fun,” he said. “I try to take every chance, you know, playing in such a big court. With the crowd, it's always nice to be in that position. So that's maybe the most important advice he always gives me.”

The 21-year-old is also enjoying a newfound level of fitness.

He says he still isn’t where he wants to be in that regard, but believes that he has improved by leaps and bounds since last year.

“For sure we have a lot of work to do, still,” he said. “I give my body a lot of time to develop. But for sure now I am in a much, much better position than I was one year ago. We take care of quite everything. I also know my body better, when to practice or when maybe to do only gym.”

Sinner dealt with myriad injuries last season, and retired from three matches in 2022. He says the experience has given him a better understanding of how he can physically thrive on the ATP Tour.

“For sure all the injuries last year and a little bit also the bad luck we had as a team gave us still the possibility to think about or to improve for this year and hopefully also for the upcoming years,” he said. “Also mentally was tough last year, so this year I feel much, much better for a year.

“I am for sure in a good position right now, but I feel like we have so much work to do, still. I think in two, three years I will be in a very, very good position physically.”

Sinner will face Carlos Alcaraz in a blockbuster semifinal at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. The pair have split four previous meetings, with their last battle, a US Open quarterfinal, lasting five hours and 15 minutes. Alcaraz won, 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-3.