Behind the exploits of the South Tyrolean champion there are the values transmitted by a close-knit family
– rum raisin
Each of his coaches has said it and reiterated: “One of Jannik’s great fortunes is his family, with the values it has passed on to him.” And in fact, it was from his father Hanspeter, who worked in the kitchen until last year, and from his mother Siglinde, a waitress, that Sinner learned the culture of work, commitment and humility. It is no coincidence that, following his parents’ example, as soon as he earned his first money playing tournaments, he first wanted to buy a machine for stringing rackets. Because at home the mentality is this: autonomy and no waste.
Hanspeter, who is 59 years old, was the cook at the Fondovalle Refuge (Talschlusshütte) in Val Fiscalina for years, while Siglinde took care of welcoming customers. Only this year did Jannik’s father start following his son around the tournaments: it is he who, especially during the longer trips, those in which the whole team lives in the same house, takes care of the cooking. Although supercoach Darren Cahill is still in charge of the barbecue: “For twenty years dad worked at the refuge – the Italian champion said a few weeks ago -. Now, also to be more together, he has started traveling with me. He loves to cook , I can take care of nutrition well and above all we can make up for some of the too much time we’ve been away from.” Even Siglinde, when he can, especially in Italy, or perhaps in Vienna, joins the group. Now his main commitment is with the holiday home he manages in Sesto Pusteria: “They have always worked hard – is Sinner’s story -. Maybe the first times alone, at 13 years old in Bordighera, I called them because I had a bit of nostalgia. Or, perhaps, because I was a little sad if something had gone wrong on the pitch or I had lost a match. Mum told me she had to work, that’s when I understood that my problems were relative.” So he grew up as a humble boy who knows how to give every situation the right weight: no millionaire performances (for the moment), no public pomp but only, rightly, some small pampering such as a new customized car.
The older brother, Mark, is also a friend and confidant. Born in Rostov in 1998, coincidentally the year of the last Davis final played by Italy, he was adopted by Jannik’s parents when he was nine months old: they thought they wouldn’t be able to have children and had decided to take that step. Then, a few years later, in 2001, Jannik arrived. Mark is like the rest of the family, he doesn’t like to appear, he works as a fire brigade instructor and for his champion little brother he is a great point of reference: “He is a person I can always count on”. They love walking together in the mountains on the few days they are able to be home, playing golf and maybe doing some karting, if possible with the rest of their childhood friends. Always them, always the same, the ones with whom you take a picture on the top of some mountain having a picnic or on a track with a helmet and overalls. Nature and affections, nothing more. It’s always the simple things that make a champion great.
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