Jannik Sinner confirms romance with fellow player as Aussies slump to 27-year low at French Open

The Australian tennis contingent has endured a nightmare few days at Roland Garros.

Australian Open champ Jannik Sinner has confirmed he is dating Russian tennis player Anna Kalinskaya after he was spotted cheering her on court-side at the French Open. Rumours have been swirling for weeks that Sinner and Kalinskaya are dating, and the Italian star fuelled the speculation when he was seen in Kalanskaya's court-side box at Roland Garros for her first-round match.

Kalinskaya also attended Sinner's match in-person, and the World No.2 confirmed the news in his post-match press conference. “You know, I don’t like to talk much about my private life," Sinner said after his 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win over Christopher Eubanks. "Yes, I’m with Anna, but we keep everything very confidential. I won’t say more."

Jannik Sinner, Anna Kalinskaya and Daria Saville at the French Open.
Jannik Sinner (centre) was spotted watching Anna Kalinskaya (L), while Daria Saville (R) added to the Aussie woes at the French Open. Image: Getty/Eurosport

Interestingly, Kalinskaya formerly dated Aussie star Nick Kyrgios for a brief period. Sinner and Kalinskaya are both in career-best form after the Russian made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January - which Sinner won for his first grand slam title.

Sinner and Kalinskaya join the likes of Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter, and Stefanos Tsitsipas and Paula Badosa, as tennis-playing couples. Tsitsipas and Badosa recently got back together after a brief split.

“Paula didn’t do anything wrong, nor did I do anything wrong,” Tsitsipas said of their reunion. “It was hard for us being apart and I was going through some hard times too. I would say that I didn’t manage it very well either, because I was feeling the pressure of the tour, of my work.

“It seemed like a mountain to combine these two, and I made the decision to take a break. After two, three weeks I realised that she is a person who has supported me a lot and when she tried to talk to me about meeting I felt how intense the love we have for each other is.

“I realised that this relationship I have with Paula is completely different from any other relationship I have had in the past. I feel that she is my person and we understand each other. That puts more value in everything I do and I want her by my side as often as possible. So yes, we’ve reconnected and we’re in a good moment.”

De Minaur has been dating British star Boulter for the last few years, and the Aussie is carrying the weight of the nation on his shoulders after a brutal few days for his compatriots at Roland Garros. Daria Saville and Max Purcell both lost in the opening round on Monday - making it five losses, no wins and an injury withdrawal for the Australian contingent after two days.

Purcell couldn't convert six match points before finally losing his first-round match in bewildering fashion against qualifier Henri Squire. The Sydneysider resorted to using an underarm serve on one of his failed match points before blowing a two-set lead to lose 6-2 6-2 3-6 4-6 6-7 (10-12).

Max Purcell at the French Open.
Max Purcell in action against Henri Squire at the French Open.


Saville had earlier lost 3-6 4-6 to Jasmine Paolini, marking the first time since 1997 that no Australian woman has advanced to the second round of the Paris grand slam following Ajla Tomljanovic's exit on Sunday. "I felt like the whole match was actually a lot closer than maybe the scoreline suggested," said Saville. "But I struggled with the serve, and it cost me, especially in the first set.

"But at 5-4 on that return game (in the second set), I made four unforced forehand errors, trying to dictate but missing. I'm okay with that, though, because I think I took a chance, but it just didn't work out."

Tomljanovic, Jordan Thompson and Aleksander Vukic all lost on Sunday, with Christopher O'Connell forced to withdraw because of injury. De Minaur will look to get Australia's first win when he takes on Alex Michelsen on Tuesday night (Aussie time). At least one Australian is guaranteed to advance to the second round because Alexei Popyrin and Thanasi Kokkinakis are playing each other.