Tennis News: Jannik Sinner, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal

  • Why did Sinner ski?
  • Andy Murray makes an implication
  • Nadal makes an admission
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

The 2024 tennis season is in full swing, so we can rejoice! There are several tournaments underway this week including the United Cup, the Brisbane International, the ASB Classic, and the Hong Kong Open. Nearly every top player is involved in one of those events, except for Carlos Alcaraz.

Alcaraz will play at the Australian Open in two weeks, of course, but he is probably making the wise decision of starting the year a bit slower. At the end of 2022, he was hurt. And at the end of 2023, he simply seemed mentally and physically exhausted. Maybe not playing one tournament at the beginning of the year will somehow help late in the season.

Other players, such as Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu, are attempting comebacks. Both are playing this week and are expected to participate in the Australian Open. But one other player has already started his comeback and we will start there.

Rafael Nadal makes a non-committal admission

After Rafael Nadal lost his doubles match at the Brisbane International - his first ATP-sponsored match since the second round of the 2023 Australian Open - he was asked whether 2024 would indeed be his last year playing professional tennis as he has hinted. Nadal gave a perfect and sel-aware answer. The answer might just not have been one reporters were hoping for.

In his post-match press conference, Nadal said, "The problem about saying it’s going to be my last season is that I can’t predict what’s going on 100 per cent in the future. That’s why I say ‘probably.' It’s obvious it’s a high percentage [chance] that it’s going to be my last time playing in Australia. But if I’m here next year, don’t tell me, ‘you said it’s going to be your last season’, because I didn’t say it." Perfect.

Andy Murray wants to have fun again

Another great player, Murray, admitted to not having fun playing by the end of 2023. He was losing matches and not playing up to his normal expectations. Of course, Murray has had a bunch of injuries over the last several years, including major hip surgery and having a piece of metal inserted into the joint. He might never be capable of being the 2012 version of himself.

But Murray, like Nadal, doesn't want to commit that 2024 will be his final year playing. Murray told BBC Sport ahead of the Brisbane International that "if I was in a situation like I was at the end of last year, then I probably wouldn’t go again. But then if physically I’m doing well and my results are good and I’m playing well, then that’s enjoyable and I could see myself still playing."

Murray did not get off to a great 2024, however, as he lost to Grigor Dimitrov 4-6 7-5 2-6 in the first round of the Brisbane International.

Jannik Sinner and the skiing issue

Turns out taking a ski trip in December wasn't exactly Jannik Sinner's idea. His coach, Darren Cahill, wanted him to take the trip. Why? So Sinner could stop having to think about tennis all the time.

Cahill told Corriere Della Sera that he advised Sinner to simply go have some fun and take some time off before playing in the Australian Open. Cahill used the same technique with Andre Agassi and that worked out well. As Cahill put it, "It is the strategy that, in the five years that I coached him, I used with Agassi. This way he has more margin for recovery...Starting (the year) fresh will be crucial."

Read more from Lob and Smash