Pope Francis hails Sinner
Pope Francis on Monday joined the chorus of congratulations for Jannik Sinner, the first Italian to win a tennis Grand Slam trophy in 48 years.
Francis complimented Sinner and his compatriots while giving an audience to members of a tennis club from Barcelona, a Vatican statement said.
"We have to congratulate the Italians because they won in Australia yesterday," the 87-year-old pope, whose best known sporting passion is soccer, said in unscripted remarks.
Sinner, 22, beat Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open on Sunday, overcoming a two-set disadvantage to win 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3.
The Italian hails from the German-speaking Alpine region of South Tyrol, and initially practiced skiing before switching to focus on tennis in his youth.