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Draper Returns To Winners’ Circle On ATP Challenger Tour

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

Draper Returns To Winners’ Circle On ATP Challenger Tour

Zhukayev saves 5 MPs in Charlottesville first round en route to title

Jack Draper claimed his first title at any level since March 2022 on Sunday when he triumphed at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Bergamo, Italy.

The 21-year-old rallied past former World No. 7 David Goffin 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 in the Trofeo Perrel – Faip final after fending off 14 of 19 break points faced to earn his fifth career ATP Challenger Tour crown.

“David came out playing incredibly well. I felt a bit sluggish after a long match yesterday. I had to really fight hard and change my energy to find my way back,” Draper said. “I’m really proud of the way I competed. My competitive spirit brought me back.

Draper, who hit a career-high No. 38 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in January, was poised to continue his rapid rise in 2023. But injuries soon struck the Briton and have been an unfortunate theme this season for last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals semi-finalist. Now with another trophy in his hands, Draper hopes to maintain his form heading into next season.

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“I think this year was to stay healthy after my injury in May. Next year I really want to push to the top of the game, that’s my goal,” Draper said.

In other ATP Challenger Tour action, Kazakh’s Beibit Zhukayev earned his maiden title at that level when he won the Jonathan Fried Pro Challenger in Charlottesville, Virginia. The 23-year-old downed qualifier Aidan Mayo 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

After Zhukayev saved five match points in a dramatic first-round match against Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, the Kazakh was unbroken the remainder of the week.

<a href=Beibit Zhukayev wins his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Charlottesville, Virginia.” />
Beibit Zhukayev wins his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Charlottesville, Virginia. Credit: Al Hoover
“It was a special week for me. In the first match, I saved five match points. After that I felt like I have to fight for every point and that’s what I was doing all this week,” Zhukayev told commentator Mike Cation. “I’m very happy to win the title. It was a goal for me to win a Challenger title this year and I made it.”

Following his triumph in Charlottesville, Zhukayev climbed 52 spots to a career-high No. 195 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Alejandro Tabilo collected his third Challenger trophy of the year at the Challenger Ciudad de Guayaquil, where he overcame second seed Daniel Elahi Galan 6-2, 6-2 in the final. Tabilo, 26, also triumphed in Francavilla al Mare, Italy and Karlsruhe, Germany this season.

“I’m happy because it was a very hard week, many battles with very good players,” Tabilo said in Spanish. “I have known Galan for a long time, we’ve played several matches and I hope I can continue battling with him. I am very happy with the victory and I hope I can continue with this level.”

<a href=Alejandro Tabilo wins the Challenger 75 event in Guayaquil, Ecuador.” />
Alejandro Tabilo wins the Challenger 75 event in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Credit: Jose Alvarado
Antoine Bellier won his first ATP Challenger Tour title of the season on the orange carpet of Ismaning, Germany, where the 27-year-old escaped home hope Maximilian Marterer 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(6) in the final. Bellier advanced through qualifying and dropped just one set all week en route to his second title on the ATP Challenger Tour.

“I had no expectations and I started from qualies to being the winner. I’m really happy,” Bellier said. “I played a great level.”

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Taro Daniel claimed his first title since 2020 and eighth overall on the ATP Challenger Tour after defeating Marc Polmans 6-2, 6-4 in the final at the NSW Open in Sydney, Australia. Following his title run, the 30-year-old Daniel posted on Instagram sharing what it meant to him to win the event on the one-year anniversary of his mother’s passing.

“What a week. Grateful for all the continuous support I receive from my team and family even though physically I was alone this time, it’s all of us together,” Daniel wrote. “Special to do it on the one-year anniversary of the passing of my mom.”

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Zverev Chases Finale Hat-trick To Crown Comeback Year To Remember

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

Zverev Chases Finale Hat-trick To Crown Comeback Year To Remember

German has enjoyed stellar season after serious ankle injury in 2022

“It’s almost like a first Zverev Chases Finale Hat-trick To Crown Comeback Year To Remember again,” said an emotional Alexander Zverev in July after becoming champion at his hometown event, the Hamburg European Open, for the first time. “It’s such a long time, 18 months, and I’m just super happy right now.”

If an ATP Tour career can be broken up into chapters, the German has followed up one of the most tumultuous of his career with a stirring comeback storyline in 2023. One that has seen him lift his 20th and 21st tour-level trophies in Hamburg and Chengdu, respectively, and qualify for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals for the sixth time.

Zverev had no such expectations at the start of the season, when he returned to competitive action after missing the second half of 2022 with a serious ankle injury sustained during his Roland Garros semi-final against Rafael Nadal. Although the three torn ligaments in his right ankle may have physically healed, Zverev’s 3-6 start to 2023 reflected the fact that after-effects from such a serious injury remained.

“I think at the beginning of the year I was still managing pain, I was still dealing with pain,” Zverev told the ATP Tennis Podcast. “I was not moving the way I wanted to move, I was not sliding around the court, if you look back at the matches that I played. It was more that for me.”

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While he struggled in those early months to rediscover his pre-injury level of physicality, Zverev was carrying something else, something more positive, within him. A renewed love for the game that had developed during his long road back to fitness.

“I think you really appreciate the sport of tennis,” said Zverev, when asked if he had learnt anything from his time away. “You really appreciate the tough days, the fun days. You just appreciate being out there on the court when it gets taken away from you.

“Most players realise that once they quit tennis because they don’t have this period, this injury. I realised it earlier on, so I’m thankful for that, but I want to get back to where I was.”

So where exactly ‘was’ Zverev prior to his injury? Had the two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion gone on to beat Nadal in that 2022 Roland Garros semi-final and lift his first major crown, he would also have risen to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time. As his comeback season wore on, it was that sort of level the German began to rediscover.

Zverev backed up a return to the semi-finals at Roland Garros in July with a last-four appearance in Halle, before clinching his first title since the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals with his dream run at home in Hamburg. Subsequent semi-finals in Cincinnati and Beijing either side of a quarter-final appearance at the US Open, as well as his Chengdu triumph, were further evidence that the 26-year-old was back as a regular title-challenger.

“I’m playing good tennis and I’m winning tournaments again which is the most important thing,” Zverev said after his Chengdu victory. “I’m a contender. That’s something I missed at the beginning of the year, when I didn’t feel like I was. I’m back to the same mentality of winning tournaments and the same mentality of trying to be one of the best.”

And so to Turin, where Zverev enters the field as the only active player other than six-time champion Novak Djokovic to have won the prestigious season finale more than once. While he will be confident of improving his 12-8 Nitto ATP Finals match record and hopeful that he can add to his 2018 and 2021 titles, the German can reflect on a year of remarkable progress no matter how far he goes at the Pala Alpitour.

“It’s just the prestige to be there. You’re one of the best eight players in the world, so automatically you feel honoured to be at that event,” said Zverev. “The special thing about that tournament is that during normal weeks you have time to get into the matches, you have time to find your rhythm, find your game.

“There, you don’t. You play one of the best eight players in the world straightaway, from the first match, and that is the special part about it. I think that’s why all the players look forward to it and fight so hard to be there.”

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Zverev’s past Nitto ATP Finals experiences mean his confidence is unlikely to be dented too badly even if he falls to an early defeat in the round-robin stage in Turin. He lost his second group-stage match in London in 2018 and Turin in 2021, but bounced back with three straight wins each time to lift the trophy.

“Other tournaments, if I would have lost to Novak or Daniil [Medvedev], I would have been out, but there I came back and became a two-time champion,” said Zverev. “I think just enjoying the moment [is important]. Just being one of the best eight players in the world and being able to compete with them is something that I enjoy doing.

“It’s a prestige event, an honour itself just to be there, and I never take it for granted.”

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Thiem Makes Winning Start In Metz

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

Thiem Makes Winning Start In Metz

Defending champion Sonego advances

Former finalist Dominic Thiem made a winning start at the Moselle Open on Monday when he brushed past French lucky loser Matteo Martineau 6-4, 6-2 to reach the second round.

The former World No. 3, who advanced to the title match on debut in Metz in 2016, saved the one break point he faced and won 80 per cent (28/35) of his first-serve points to advance after 84 minutes.

Thiem has now won eight of his past nine tour-level first-round matches, with his best result a final run in Kitzbühel in August. Chasing his first title since his US Open 2020 triumph, the Austrian will next play Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

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In other action, defending champion Lorenzo Sonego made a winning start to his title defence, clawing past American Marcos Giron 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

The Italian, who holds an 8-2 record at the ATP 250 hard-court event, hung tough in a two-hour, 17-minute battle. The sixth seed won 80 per cent (39/49) of his first-serve points and raced away from 3/2 in the third-set tie-break to reach the second round. Sonego will next face Jordan qualifier Abdullah Shelbayh or Frenchman Hugo Gaston.

Constant Lestienne defeated Calvin Hemery 6-3, 6-2, while Alexander Shevchenko beat Mathias Bourgue 6-4, 7-5.

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Nitto ATP Finals: Record $15 Million Prize Money For 2023 Event

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

Nitto ATP Finals: Record $15 Million Prize Money For 2023 Event

Undefeated singles champion will earn $4,801,500

The Nitto ATP Finals will award a record $15 million in prize money at the 2023 season finale, which will be played at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 12-19 November. 

If the champion at this year’s tournament lifts the trophy with a perfect record, he will earn $4,801,500, an increase over the previous record, which was set in 2022 when Novak Djokovic won $4,801,500. That remains record prize money for a champion in all of tennis.

Like in the 2022 edition of the tournament, three matches at this year’s Nitto ATP Finals will be worth more than $1 million. Each semi-final victory will be worth more than $1.1 million and the championship match will yield the winner $2,201,00.

Singles Prize Money (2023)
Alternate $152,500
Participation Fee $325,500*
Round-robin match win $390,000
Semi-final match win $1,105,000
Final win $2,201,000
Undefeated champion $4,801,500

*Singles Participation Fee Schedule (2023)
1 match: $162,750
2 matches: $244,125
3 matches: $325,500

If a doubles team lifts the trophy without losing a match en route to the title, it will split $943,650.

Doubles Prize Money Per Team (2023)
Alternate $50,850
Participation Fee $132,000*
Round-robin match win $95,000
Semi-final match win $175,650
Final win $351,000
Undefeated champion $943,650

Doubles Participation Fee Schedule (2023)
1 match: $66,000
2 matches: $99,000
3 matches: $132,000

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Nitto ATP Finals 2023: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

Nitto ATP Finals 2023: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

All about the season finale in Turin, Italy

The world’s best players will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin next week, when Novak Djokovic will chase a record seventh title at the prestigious season finale.

When is the Nitto ATP Finals?

The 2023 Nitto ATP Finals will be held from 12-19 November. The indoor hard-court event, established in 1970, will take place at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. The event director is Adam Hogg.

What is the format & who is playing at the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals?

The event in Turin will see eight players divided into two groups of four, with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Holger Rune will compete.

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When is the draw for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals?

The Turin draw will be made on Thursday 9 November at 3 p.m.

What is the schedule for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals?

* Main Draw Round-Robin Matches: Sunday 12 November – Friday 17 November. Afternoon session starts at 12:00 p.m. (doubles), 2:30 p.m. (singles). Evening session not before 6:30 p.m (doubles), 9 p.m. (singles) from Sunday-Thursday. Not before 6 p.m (doubles), 8:30 p.m. (singles) on Friday.

* Semi-finals: Saturday 18 November. Afternoon session starts at 12:00 p.m. (doubles), 2:30 p.m. (singles). Evening session not before 6:30 p.m. (doubles), not before 9 p.m. (singles).

* Final: Sunday 19 November. Doubles final at 3 p.m. and singles final at 6 p.m.

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What is the prize money for the Nitto ATP Finals?

The prize money for the Nitto ATP Finals is $15,000,000

Undefeated Champion: $4,801,500
Final Win: $2,201,000
Semi-Final Win: $1,105,000
Each Round-Robin Match Win: $390,000
Participation Fee: $325,500
Alternate: $152,500

Doubles (per team)
Undefeated Champion: $943,650
Final Win: $351,000
Semi-Final Win: $175,650
Each Round-Robin Match Win: $95,000
Participation Fee: $132,000
Alternate: $50,850

How can I watch the Nitto ATP Finals?

Watch Live On Tennis TV
TV Schedule

How can I follow the Nitto ATP Finals?

Hashtag: #NittoATPFinals
Facebook: Nitto ATP Finals
Twitter: @atptour
Instagram: @nittoatpfinals

Who won the last edition of the Nitto ATP Finals in 2022?

Novak Djokovic won the 2022 singles title in Turin with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Casper Ruud in the championship match (Read & Watch).

Who holds the Nitto ATP Finals record for most titles, oldest champion, youngest champion and more?

Most Titles, Singles: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic (6)
Oldest Champion: Novak Djokovic, 35, in 2022
Youngest Champion: John McEnroe, 19, in 1978
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 1s Ilie Nastase (1973), Jimmy Connors (1977), Bjorn Borg (1979-80), John McEnroe (1984), Ivan Lendl (1985-87), Pete Sampras (1994, 1996-97), Lleyton Hewitt (2002), Roger Federer (2004, 2006-07), Novak Djokovic (2012, 2014-15) and Andy Murray (2016)
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 12 David Nalbandian in 2005
Last Home Champion: Andy Murray in London in 2016
Most Match Wins: Roger Federer (59)

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

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The 'Cycle' Of Life: Can Medvedev Turn The Tables In Turin?

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

The ‘Cycle’ Of Life: Can Medvedev Turn The Tables In Turin?

With five titles and 64 match wins, 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champ says 2023 season has been perhaps his best yet

As he prepares for his fifth consecutive Nitto ATP Finals appearance, Daniil Medvedev has a score to settle. The world No. 3 went 0-3 last season in Turin, but that record tells just a small part of the story.

One year after winning two final-set tie-breaks in a runner-up finish at the season finale, Medvedev lost all three of his 2022 Turin matches in decisive tie-breaks — defeats against Novak Djokovic, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. But as a former champion, the 27-year-old is not too concerned about a repeat performance.

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“I feel definitely maybe a little bit less pressure, because before I won [the 2020 title], I lost three matches in a row,” he pointed out. “But the same time, tennis is such a… let’s call it a cyclic thing. Last year, I lost three matches, and three of them were really close in the decisive tie-break, I think two of them I was serving for the match. 

“So for sure this year coming there, I want to try to be better. And that’s exactly what happened a couple of years ago, when I managed to win it. So let’s hope it’s going to be the same story.”

Medvedev used last year’s misfortune as motivation for his offseason, and he quickly made amends in the early part of 2023. Across a stretch of five tournaments from mid-February to early April, he reached five finals and won four titles, including at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami.

<a href=Daniil Medvedev with his Miami Open trophy in 2023.” />

Medvedev also lifted 500-level trophies in Rotterdam and Dubai during that period. He would later add a second ATP Masters 1000 trophy — his first tour-level clay title — in Rome before reaching the US Open final and advancing to ATP 500 finals in Beijing and Vienna.

“I’ve had an amazing season on many levels, but the 500s have been pretty amazing. I got a lot of points and good wins against great players,” said Medvedev, who earned the most Pepperstone ATP Rankings points across the 13 ATP 500s this season.

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“I started the year very strongly by winning the first two 500s I played in Rotterdam and Dubai, so that opened a big gap on a lot of players and I have managed to finish strong at the end here in Vienna,” he added, charting his path in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin.

During his Vienna run, Medvedev said this was probably the best season of his career, though he rued the lack of a Grand Slam title to match his 2021 US Open crown. A second Nitto ATP Finals title would go a long way to consolidate this as a standout season for the baseliner — but he knows he must beat several great champions to become the singular champion in Turin.

“You play against the best players in the world,” he said of the season finale. “So as soon as you go to the third set, and the ending of the third set, it’s going to be tough for both of you, and you both know how to deal with this pressure.

“Last year, I was not strong enough to manage to make it. This year, I’m going to try to be stronger.”

Medvedev tops the ATP Tour leaderboard in matches won this season with a personal-best 64 victories compared to just 16 defeats. But should he suffer a setback against one of his elite foes in Turin, the result will not necessarily end his chances at the title thanks to the unique round-robin format.

While he will not approach the group stage differently than any other tournament — except for the knowledge that he is up against the world’s very best from Day 1 — Medvedev knows he could benefit from that second chance in his back pocket if needed.

“I think what it changes is if you lose a match, that’s when you get the second chance, which in tennis doesn’t happen except this tournament. And that’s the only time,” he explained.

“But when you go into the tournament, the best feeling is trying to not lose [each] match, try to win every match possible and get to the final like this. But I think we have a lot of stories where someone lost the first match and then won the whole thing. So that’s what makes it this tournament special.”

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