The Italian had a match point in the fourth set but couldn’t convert as luck – by way of a net cord – went against him and he eventually bowed out 6-7(0), 7-6(7), 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 after five hours, 26 minutes.
Sinner: I will also get my rewards
Following his second-round defeat, Italian will take some time to reflect, regroup and look to the future
“What happened? That's a good question,” Sinner told reporters. “I had my opportunities. I couldn't find a right way how to win the points. I was a little bit unfortunate at some points. Also match point I smashed, and he played it on the tape of the net.
“But, you know, this is the sport. I will for sure come back stronger.”
Sinner lost relatively early on the clay in Barcelona and Rome in the run-up to RG2023 and said that he may not have been as relaxed on court as he usually is.
“I knew it was a tough last two tournaments,” he said. “I put myself maybe a little bit too much expectations or pressure, call it however you want, and, you know, it's part of the game.
“I feel like the season is going good. I played a lot of matches. But for sure the last two tournaments were not what I was expecting. It is a tough one to swallow, but I keep going.”
Keep on keeping on
The No.8 seed admitted the defeat will be tough to take.
“Honestly, I felt very prepared for here. Mentally I felt good. Physically we were working hard. Long, long practice sessions.
“It's tough, you know, when you work so hard and you don't take the reward. But, this is not a sprint. This sport is a marathon, so I will keep going with the hard work, and I will also get my rewards. It’s a tough one, yes, but it doesn't end here.”
Sinner will rue the smash he failed to put away on match point but Altmaier, who reached the fourth round in Paris in 2020, played a fine match, forcing Sinner back and, when he had the chance, coming to the net to finish the points.
“I think he served well,” Sinner said. “He's a good fighter and his attitude today was better than mine. That's the only thing I can say, and that is just the result, that end result.
“These matches you can win or you can lose. Sometimes you're a little bit lucky. Sometimes no. But he played good, so I'm very happy for him. And I will come back. This is what I'm aiming for."
And Sinner hinted that he will try to be a little less hard on himself in future.
“Maybe I'm not the type of guy who has to aim for or to have very, very high expectation for myself, or that's what I think.
"You know, everyone is different. I tried out also this. It didn't work at least for these two weeks, and then we will see in the future.”