Jannik Sinner has suffered one of the worst collapses of his career having lost to Daniel Altmaier after four match point opportunities, which leaves one side of the Roland Garros draw wide open. Sinner entered Paris as one of the favourites having been drawn on the opposite side of Carloz Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.
Daniil Medvedev’s shock exit in the first round also left the door open for the Italian to make a deep run. But it was not to be after Sinner lost to the German 6-7, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-5 in a more than five-hour epic.
The match was the fifth longest in French Open history and left both players utterly exhausted. However, Sinner admitted he put too much pressure on himself heading into this grand slam and it showed after one incredible miss on match point summed up the loss.
At 5-4 and match point, Sinner forced Altmaier to loop a ball high to give the Italian an overhead smash to win the match in the fourth set. Although nerves clearly got the usually cool, calm and collected Sinner as he clipped the top of the net and the ball went out.
Sinner didn’t recover as he lost the game and ended up losing the set in a tiebreak. Altmaier held his nerve in the fifth and final set to leave the tennis world shocked.
The crowd barracked for the popular Sinner throughout the more than five-hour epic. But the Italian’s loss, especially having an overhead smash to win the match, left the tennis world absolutely stunned.
Heartbreaker for him but what a performance from Altmaier.
— Gman (@GarryPa31881391) June 1, 2023
— KID (@AdekeyeSamuel5) June 1, 2023
5.26h, Matchballs saved (with net), failed own matchballs + crowd for the opponent (incredible loud atmosphere). Daniel Altmaier (24) stuns Sinner 7:5 in the fith. Into 3rd round of #FrenchOpen for first time since 2020. Gets Dimitrov next. Got a Minute of standing ovation after pic.twitter.com/d1LOJRJqOe
— Jannik Schneider (@schnejan) June 1, 2023
Jannik Sinner devastated after French Open defeat
Clay is seen as one of Sinner’s stronger surfaces, but the Italian struggled during his campaign having finished the season 8-3. Despite reaching the Monte Carlo semi-final, Sinner struggled in both Rome and Paris.
The Italian was classy in defeat and said he was ready to bounce back even stronger. “I had my opportunities. I couldn’t find a right way how to win the points,” Sinner said after the match. “I was a little bit unfortunate at some points. But this is the sport. I will come back stronger.
“I knew it was a tough last two tournaments. I put a little bit too much expectations or pressure [on myself], it’s part of the game. I feel like the season is going good. I played a lot of matches… It is a tough one to swallow, but I [will] keep going.”
Sinner struggled with injury a few weeks ago and withdrew from the Madrid Open, but he didn’t offer up any excuses for his French Open preparations. “I felt very prepared for here. Mentally I felt good. Physically we were working hard,” he added.
“Long, long practice sessions. It’s tough when you work so hard and you don’t take the reward. But this is not a sprint. This sport is a marathon. I will keep going with the hard work, and I will also get my rewards. This was, it’s a tough one, yes, but it doesn’t end here.”