Jannik Sinner cruises past Jesper de Jong at Australian Open

Fourth-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner showed his improved game and a sense of humor Wednesday at the Australian Open, dispatching Jesper de Jong of the Netherlands in straight sets.

He referenced a popular lifeguard TV show from years ago, too, as he talked about his process for off days that includes a trip to the gym “even if you can’t see it.”

Asked about his weight, Sinner opted not to answer but said he’s happy with his current physique — even though “of course you dream to have, you know, like the ‘Baywatch’ physicality, it’s OK.”

Sinner, who won 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, played consistently after coming away dissatisfied with his first-round victory Sunday.

“It’s never easy playing the first match of the season, so I’m happy to get the win and now I have two days of practice to get better,” Sinner said Sunday.

After leading his country to the 2023 Davis Cup championship, Sinner was away from action until this tournament. He said he’s dialed in.

“For sure the team gives me a lot of confidence … but in other ways, I have to make good processes,” Sinner said after Wednesday’s match.

“Two days ago and also yesterday. Today, I showed a very good level. And tomorrow I have another day off to practice myself into the match rhythm.”

After taking 2 hours and 34 minutes to beat Botic van de Zandschulp, also of the Netherlands, Sunday, Sinner finished de Jong in 1 hour and 43 minutes.