Rinderknech: Any player not in juniors top 10 should go to college

Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech lost in Monte Carlo, and he has yet to crack into the top 45. It was taken him a long time to be more harmoniou

He is playing better. This season he has beaten some good players, all in the top 30s, upending Jannik Sinner, Karen Khachanov, Alexander Bublik and Denis Shapovalov.

Over the past four years, the 26-year-old finally matured. 

“I didn’t have to start on the tour at 18 years old when I was not good enough and not mature enough, professionally speaking, to play on the tour. But I had the maturity to think about it and decide to go to the United States, which was a very good choice,” said Rinderknech, who went to Texas A&M. “It gave me some time, and I have a diploma now that is a security for my future, so I can play relaxed now, knowing what I have. Now I’m starting at 22, 23 years old instead of 18, so it helps me go through the steps more easily, because I experienced many other things than only professional tennis.”

He decided not to try to go straight into the ATP Tour because he was not ready then.

“In my opinion, any player who is not top 10 in juniors should go to college. It’s a very clear-cut opinion. Unless you are [Carlos] Alcaraz or [Jannik] Sinner or if you are in the very top best players in juniors, you need to go to college in the U.S,” Rinderknech said. “Because if you’re not top 10 in juniors, there are many uncertainties as to your future in the professional tour. Even players that were 10, 13, or even 8 have disappeared from professional tennis after that. There are hundreds of them. Others are just getting lost playing the futures for years, so instead, I would advise them to go to the U.S. But each one has his own goals. If they want just to party, they can party in the U.S. too, but they will forget about tennis. But it’s up to them to decide about their future. They should take control of their lives and not only depend on mommy or daddy and the coach. So it’s a clear-cut opinion, but of course you need to have good advice from people who know about what they are talking about so you get good advice to choose your college.”
Rinderknech will play to qualify in Madrid and Rome. However, he will certainly play at Roland Garros in May.

Novak Djokovic is still trying to be more comfortable. Yes, he is No. 1, but in his last three tournaments, he didn’t win the event. He was not allowed to play the Australian Open, so he went to Dubai, and he lost to Jiri Vesely. Then in Monte Carlo, he went down to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1. No big deal as when you are not playing, it takes a while to remember what to do. So he went to Serbia, where he was born, and he looked solid, but not fantastic. He managed to grind his way into the final, and it looked like now he would out-hit the very good players like Andrey Rublev.

Djokovic looked consistent, but in the final’s third set he became injured, and Rublev leaped on him, winning the title 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-0. Yes, Djokovic doesn’t love the clay, but he really likes it. So when he goes to Madrid, maybe he will be slightly better.

Will the No. 8 Rublev wins a Grand Slam this year, or an ATP 1000? He has won 11 titles, but he hasn’t gotten into those top tier events yet. Last year he reached the final in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati. Now it is time to boost up in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros.

Stefanos Tsitsipas won Monte Carlo in some tough matches, and he played spectacular, but he decided to play Barcelona, and that was too tough. Eventually, he tired against the terrific young player Carlos Alcaraz. But they will face each other again. ..

However, the 18-year-old Alcaraz is now ranked No. 9, which is very unusual. The other Spaniard Rafa Nadal was already playing terrific at the age of 19, winning his first Roland Garros in 2005. It is certainly possible with Alcaraz, but he has to continue to improve more, as there are times when he doesn’t work the points. It should a blast to see him rise in Madrid.