Jannik Sinner may have bowed out of the French Open to omnipresent champion Rafael Nadal, but he still has an exceptionally bright future, according to seven-time winner Chris Evert and Tim Henman.
Sinner served for the first set after refusing to be overawed by the occasion before succumbing to the almost-inevitable Nadal response, with the Spaniard coming through 7-6(4) 6-4 6-1 in his 100th match at Roland Garros.
Only three players (Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, Diego Schwartzman) have managed to win more than 11 games against Nadal in Paris since 2015. The 19-year-old also took out sixth seed Alexander Zverev and 11th seed David Goffin en route to the last eight.
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“He came out on the court with a clear game plan, he was going to be aggressive, he knew he couldn’t expect Rafa to beat himself. He was incredibly impressive and had that break opportunity in the first set,” said Henman in the Eurosport Cube. “But that’s one of Rafa’s great strengths – when he’s behind on clay he breaks 60% of the time on the next service game.
“He [Sinner] has been developing really well over the last 18 months really, obviously we’ve had a bit of a break.
“He won the Next Generation Championships in Milan, his game’s improving all the time and I still think there are areas he can do better. His first serve is improving, his movement is OK, but I think he can get faster and stronger.
“This time next year, I expect him to be in the top 10, he’s that good a prospect.”

Highlights: Nadal storms into semi-finals with Sinner win

Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, also dropped in on the studio to praise the teenager’s display and suggested he might already have the tools to beat Nadal away from his trusty clay.
“He seems to have such great court awareness and great tennis IQ,” said Evert.
“The thing is, he might do a bit more damage against Rafa on a faster court because he is a power player and he’s got a big serve.”
Nadal will continue his quest for a record-extending 13th Roland Garros title when he faces Schwartzman in the semi-finals, while also seeking to avenge his recent Italian Open defeat to the Argentine 12th seed.
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