Jannik Sinner reveals his passions to the children of Sesto: Fortnite, AC/DC and Messi. «Better than Ronaldo»

Jannik Sinner reveals his passions to the children of Sesto: Fortnite, AC/DC and Messi. «Better than Ronaldo»
Jannik Sinner reveals his passions to the children of Sesto: Fortnite, AC/DC and Messi. «Better than Ronaldo»

OfFrancesco Mariucci

Val Pusteria, the joy of fans of the number one tennis player in the world. Faced with questions from the little ones, the champion reveals his passions

«We brought our daughter here because for her Jannik Sinner is an example. That’s why we made a 200 kilometer journey.” The scene, which features a young family stationed in front of the holiday home managed by the Sinner family, perfectly describes Sesto’s state of mind. A small town at the bottom of the Pusteria Valley, a handful of kilometers from the border with Austria: 1800 souls and the number one in world tennis, who, in addition to knowing how to play a racket, is, by all accounts, “a good boy, humble and with his head on his shoulders”.

The party you’ve been dreaming about for months

The country puffs out its chest and shows off its champion. Because it is true, as a local lady says, that «Sesto did not need to be advertised on a tourist level, but Jannik is a role model for today’s kids”. In short, a neighbor sums up, “he represents the best youth.” There are tourists who pass by by chance, but there are those who have woken up early in the morning to see the number one tennis player in the world up close at his home. A party that has been dreamed of in the village for months, since Sinner brought first the Davis Cup and then the Australian Open back to Italy. In January however a very serious mourning affected the community: a woman, Monika Stauder, and her two children aged 7 and 10, Mattheus and Kassian, lost their lives in a road accident. Too much to allow the country to be dressed up, in a reality where everyone knows each other, even more so because the funeral was held on January 29th, the day after the triumph in Melbourne.

The umbrella curtain with Kompatscher

And so, given also the competitive commitments, we arrived at yesterday, Tuesday 11 June: first the signing of the book of honor in the square in front of the town hall, then the meeting with the children in the town’s sports centre. To welcome Sinner there is the Sesto musical band, which accompanies the signing of the honor, the mayor Thomas Summerer, the councilor Peter Brunner and the president Arno Kompatscher. And it is precisely with the governor that Jannik becomes the protagonist of a little curtain that is also a quote, since we see him holding Kompatscher’s umbrella while the latter puts his signature just as he had already done with the Indian Wells ball girl. «The fact – Kompatscher himself will later explain – is that he is like that. We see him having achieved great goals at a young age, but we don’t talk enough about how he did it: always with exemplary behavior, respectful, polite and dedicated to fair play. The one of the umbrella is an image that I will remember” the president said on stage. And addressing parents Hanspeter and Siglinde he added: “You must be proud.”

The Tennis Federation aims for one million members

Family is a theme that also returns in the words of Angelo Binaghi, president of the Tennis Federation which thanks to the Sinner effect is aiming for one million members: «Perhaps the parents still don’t realize what they have done. They taught us that to improve Italy we don’t have to start from large cities with large resources. You can start from a small town but have great values: sense of duty, value of work, friendliness, kindness.” The comparison made by Binaghi, born in Cagliari, is with one of the absolute legends of Italian sport: «Sardinia wasn’t even considered Italy, but we also had a champion, Gigi Riva, who was a great man, it made us grow and become better people. We learned from him how to achieve our goals. Your Gigi Riva is called Jannik Sinner.” And he concludes with a jab at those who, even in recent days, have had something to say: «Jannik – says Binaghi -, you have made millions of fans happy. Don’t care if some old champion criticized you because you didn’t play the Davis Cup or the Olympics.” Also because, given the results, Sinner made up for it with interests.

Children’s questions

Then, the festive air returns again: old coaches Heribert Mair and Andreas Schönegger alternate on stage, then a sculptor who was his classmate, Florian Tschurtschenthaler, gave him a wooden statue of himself. The highlight is the dreaded questionnaire to which the children submit him, before the inevitable selfies and autographs: this is where we discover a boy who plays Fortnite, prefers Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo (general roar in the sports centre), but above all AC/DC at Kastelruther Spatzen. A flaw that even the South Tyroleans will be willing to forgive him.


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June 12, 2024 (changed June 12, 2024 | 08:11)

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