Sinner VF Split V5

How much has Jannik Sinner’s life changed since his maiden Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open? Just check out how *Vanity Fair Italia* introduced him as the magazine unveiled its latest cover star: “Jannik Sinner is the champion we were waiting for, and the man who brought Italian tennis back to the world stage…”

Dressed in what else but a full Gucci look, Sinner adorned the cover of the venerable Italian fashion magazine for a wide-ranging chat where he opened up about his relationships and keeping his private life private—as well as how he stays grounded amid his rapid rise to international stardom.

“I only want to control the things that prevent me from doing my job,” Sinner told Vanity Fair’s Federico Rocca. “I avoid those that don't put me in a position to train peacefully the next day. But if I feel like going to the zoo, for example, I go. I'm a normal boy, off the court…

“I like playing PlayStation. Go to dinner once in a while. Even though most of the time I prefer to stay at home in peace, in Monte Carlo.”


The 22-year-old San Candido native also revealed that he feels he has a “duty” to the ones closest to him, as he strives to keep his personal life out of the spotlight. Tennis fans rarely see Sinner’s extended family courtside for his matches and he keeps his four-year relationship with girlfriend Maria Braccini under wraps—and that’s exactly how Sinner likes it.

“I want to protect the people closest to me, keeping them out of this,” he said. “I see it as a small task to carry out, almost a duty: they helped me, when I was young, to gain self-confidence, and today in some way I want to protect them."

Photographed by Luigi and Iango and styled by Anna Dello Russo, Sinner’s Vanity Fair Italia photoshoot featured the Gucci global brand ambassador and several head-to-toe looks from the Italian fashion house.

In one shot, Sinner was shown in black and white as he sports a long black coat, wool trousers and shoes, with a pop of red and green thanks to the Gucci web stripe detail in the back. Sinner also rocks Gucci’s uber-trendy Marina Chain necklace in another snap featuring a laid back gray polo shirt, and he turned heads in a Still Red leather trench coat and matching gloves for another.

WATCH: “I wish that everyone could have my parents” - Champion Jannik Sinner's touching Australian Open shoutout

Sinner flew straight back to Italy after his historic Australian Open victory, having defeated Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in a men’s final thriller. In between the massive hero's welcome he received, a shoutout from the Pope, a photoshoot at the Colosseum in Rome and much more, Sinner said he “didn’t celebrate excessively” after the win.

“On Sunday I played the final, the next day I flew to Italy and the following morning I immediately went to the gym,” he revealed. “I didn't celebrate excessively, I didn't drink, because it's not good for the body. We went to eat something and then I went back to the hotel… I watched a few films and fell asleep."

In fact, when the reality of his achievement finally hit him during the 20-hour flight back home—which included one iconic layover in Dubai—his first thoughts were on how to keep building on his success.

“I immediately thought about how I could improve further. I asked myself why I ended up down two sets to zero, why I didn't react sooner… I'm quite focused. Which doesn't mean I'm not enjoying the moment."

Check out more from Sinner’s issue of *Vanity Fair Italia* online here, and on newsstands throughout Italy. Sinner, who clinched the title in Rotterdam last week to go 12-0 on the season, will be back in action at the BNP Paribas Open starting on March 6.