The Unbreakable Backhand: Jannik Sinner's Path to Glory at the Miami Open

Happy Easter everyone!

Greetings from Liverpool, where I find myself with some extra time due to the rain ahead of my first match. This break allowed me to explore Liverpool and also afforded me the opportunity to revisit the Miami Open final between Jannik Sinner and Grigor Dimitrov, alongside a detailed analysis of the match statistics. My observations focus on the strategic elements that played a pivotal role on this global stage, rather than merely the outcome of the match.

A standout aspect of the final was Jannik Sinner's backhand performance, which was nothing short of spectacular. Remarkably, Sinner did not commit a single unforced error on his backhand groundstrokes throughout the match. 

In the Miami Open final, Sinner triumphed over Dimitrov with scores of 6-3, 6-1, showcasing one of the most impressive backhand displays of his career. He executed 57 backhand groundstrokes (excluding volleys), with the only two errors occurring during challenging runs (forced error), and both times the ball barely missed. The rest of his shots in the 72-minute match found their mark with precision.

Sinner set the tone by winning the first set with a spectacular running backhand down the line, a shot that significantly dampened Dimitrov's momentum. He sealed the victory with another backhand down the line, highlighting a backhand performance that will be remembered for years. The comparison of backhand efficiency between Sinner and Dimitrov is particularly striking, underlining Sinner's exceptional play.



Sinner Backhand Returns

  • 24 returns hit
  • 0 return winners
  • 3 return errors

Dimitrov Backhand Returns

  • 33 returns hit
  • 1 return winner
  • 9 return errors

Throughout the match, Sinner demonstrated remarkable control over his backhand returns, committing a mere three errors, in contrast to Dimitrov's nine. The dynamic of the game gave the impression that Sinner had a reliable strategy whenever he needed to secure a point; he consistently targeted Dimitrov’s backhand to gain the advantage. This approach not only showcased Sinner's tactical acumen but also highlighted his comfort and confidence in exploiting this specific aspect of his opponent's game to emerge victorious.



Dimitrov's strategy en route to the Miami final involved enhancing his court presence by moving closer to the baseline to intercept the ball earlier. This tactic proved highly effective, allowing him to shorten the reaction time of his opponents during baseline rallies. However, this approach met its match against Sinner. The Italian player was adept at neutralising Dimitrov's shots, not only managing to return them consistently but also adding depth and pace, effectively turning Dimitrov's strategy to his advantage.

Baseline Points Won
Sinner = 57% (33/58)
Dimitrov = 36% (18/50)

Dimitrov found himself in a challenging position during the match, managing to win only a third of the points played from the baseline and securing just over half (7 out of 13) of his points at the net. This left him in a difficult predicament, as he struggled to find a strategy that would allow him to gain a solid foothold in the game.

In terms of power from the baseline, both players were evenly matched. Dimitrov's forehand shots averaged speeds of 80 mph, while Sinner's were close behind at 79 mph. Additionally, both competitors maintained an average speed of 69 mph on their backhand strokes. Thus, Dimitrov's issue was not related to the speed of his shots. Instead, it was Sinner's exceptional footwork and flawless technique that remained unyielding. Sinner's robust defensive play effectively neutralised Dimitrov's offensive efforts, regardless of the angle or intensity of the attack.



After watching the Miami Open final, where Jannik Sinner won against Grigor Dimitrov, I was amazed by Sinner’s smart play and incredible backhand. It wasn’t just about hitting the ball hard; it was about thinking through each point. This match made me think a lot about how important strategy is in tennis, alongside being strong and skilled.

This has made me wonder about your own experiences with tennis. How do you mix strategy with physical play? Have you ever had a match where thinking differently about your game really helped you win? I’d love to hear your stories. Please share them with me through the link below. Hearing from you would make our tennis community even richer.

Click here to share your story with me.

Let’s talk about how smart thinking and strategy play a part in our tennis games. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


Embrace the challenge, cherish the game, and remember, at 10is Academy, every shot is an opportunity to improve.