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Lopez Recognised In Turin For Standout Career

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2023

Lopez Recognised In Turin For Standout Career

Spaniard reflects on more than two decades of success

Feliciano Lopez was recognised for his standout career on Monday in Turin.

The Spaniard retired in June, then aged 41, after losing in the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Championships. The lefty won two matches at the ATP 250 to close out his career on a high.

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Player Representative Pablo Andujar and former World No. 5 Rainer Schuettler were among those who paid tribute to Lopez.

“I feel very proud of my career. I think I have achieved much more than I expected when I started playing professionally,” Lopez told “It’s been great being here again, seeing everyone and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been working with me for the past 20 years helping me in every single way. And also, it’s been very nice that they give us a last goodbye with this presentation that I had a few hours ago with Andrea, with [ATP Senior Vice President of Player Relations] Fernando [Sanchez]. It’s been great.”

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Lopez entertained fans around the world for more than two decades with his aggressive, net-crashing game. The lefty became known for his booming serve and fearless game. He won 766 tour-level matches between singles and doubles, 13 combined titles and more than $18 million in prize money.

The Spaniard is one of only five players who have hit 10,000 aces according to Infosys ATP Stats. Lopez is fourth on record with 10,261. He played in a record 79 consecutive Grand Slam men’s singles main draws beginning with 2002 Roland Garros.

In 2019, Lopez became tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event.

“I feel also very lucky that I will continue seeing almost everyone because I’m going to be working for Madrid,” Lopez said. “Hopefully we’re going to see each other again for the next years. Overall I’ve been very happy, and I think I met really nice people along the way, which is great. So it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later because I’m going to be seeing almost everyone the next five to 10 years. It’s been great so far, I’m very grateful for that.”

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Medvedev Gains Rublev Revenge In Top-Class Turin Opener

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2023

Medvedev Gains Rublev Revenge In Top-Class Turin Opener

Third seed saves all seven break points against him

After losing third-set tie-breaks in each of his Nitto ATP Finals matches last season, Daniil Medvedev played two sets of the highest quality to bounce back with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Andrey Rublev in his 2023 opener.

The close friends treated the Turin crowd to a breathtaking match full of lung-busting rallies, with Medvedev saving seven break points in the opening set — all in his last two service games of the set — before dominating from the start in set two.

“I felt good and I managed to put it on the court,” Medvedev said post-match. “First set was really tough. I managed to just get a little bit the upper hand on the most clutch moments, and this helped me in the second, so I’m really happy.”

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The result extended Medvedev’s lead for most tour-level wins (65) and most hard-court wins (48) this season and provided the perfect start in his bid to equal Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz on six tour-level titles on the year. Three of those match wins have come against Rublev this season (also in Dubai and at the US Open), after Rublev beat Medvedev in Turin last season. Medvedev now holds a 7-2 advantage in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

In an eventful opening set that featured an endless supply of world-class baseline exchanges, Rublev fought off four early break points before dropping serve at 3-3 — a badly missed swinging volley on break point breaking the pattern of rock-solid tennis from both players for much of the set. Rublev raised his level from there to threaten on return, but Medvedev summoned big serves time and again, ultimately closing out the set in a marathon six-deuce game.

“I like to play aggressive on my serve or the first shot after the return. But Rublev plays such a style that he doesn’t give me any other option because I don’t have the power of Alcaraz or maybe Tsitsipas, like on my forehand,” Medvedev said of his patient tactics. “So it’s a little bit of a different style where I try to go left and right and move my opponent. He’s very good at this game. What happens is we’re both good at this game and as you could see in the first set, we have to run, run, run, run, run! So that’s not the case against everyone but against him, that’s the only chance I have.”

Set two was more straightforward, with Medvedev breaking in the opening game and not facing a break point in closing out the victory. The straight-sets result moves the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion to the top of the Red Group, with Alexander Zverev also at 1-0 following his afternoon win against Carlos Alcaraz.

Rublev, who has won a career-best 56 matches this season, will seek to bounce back on Wednesday against Alcaraz. Medvedev will meet Zverev on Wednesday with first place in the group on the line.

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Sinner On The Carota Boys: 'They Are More Famous Than I Am'

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2023

Sinner On The Carota Boys: ‘They Are More Famous Than I Am’

The fan club is in Turin for the Nitto ATP Finals

A changeover snack in Vienna four years ago has turned into a fan club and a friendship.

Jannik Sinner met with his fan club, The Carota Boys, who have become famous in the tennis world for showing up at tournaments in carrot costumes. The act stems from a changeover in Vienna four years ago when the Italian chowed down on a whole carrot.

“They are more famous than I am to be honest,” Sinner said at his pre-tournament press conference in Turin. “I got to know them a couple of days ago. It was a great meeting, obviously.”

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Sinner also caught up with The Carota Boys on Sunday at the Pala Alpitour, where the 22-year-old won his first round-robin match of the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals against Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

“I don’t know them really, really well at the moment. I got the names, but I still got a little bit confused. It’s because they have this good-looking costume with the carota,” Sinner said. “But still it’s great to have this dedicated fan club to be honest. It’s growing, so I’m happy for them.”

Sinner will try to move to 2-0 in Green Group action on Tuesday when he plays World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The home favourite can qualify for the semi-finals of the season finale by defeating Djokovic in straight sets, or if he triumphs in three and Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Holger Rune in the afternoon.

The Italian will hope to use the support of The Carota Boys and the Pala Alpitour crowd to continue his success at the prestigious tournament.

“The atmosphere was really, really nice,” Sinner said after defeating Tsitsipas. “It’s huge pleasure for me to play here in Turin, in Italy. Obviously a little bit more pressure, but I managed it really well today, so I’m happy.”

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Hitting With Alcaraz, Bueno’s 'Incredible' Lesson In Turin

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2023

Hitting With Alcaraz, Bueno’s ‘Incredible’ Lesson In Turin

Peruvian is a sparring partner at the Nitto ATP Finals

Although he must have been feeling it under the surface, there were no outward signs of nerves for Gonzalo Bueno as he hit balls with Carlos Alcaraz at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

Their training session took place on Saturday at 11am, just one day before the start of the Nitto ATP Finals, the season’s grand finale. The 19-year-old Peruvian, No. 378 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, is one of the tournament sparring partners. Over the first few days, Bueno has practised with Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Alcaraz himself, in what must have been something of a tennis masterclass.

“Nervous? Yes, of course,” a laughing Bueno tells, after finishing his training session with the World No. 2, his t-shirt dripping with sweat.

“It’s even more nerve-wracking when you’re playing with someone who has won two Grand Slams. If I had to play with Djokovic it’d be even worse…,” he continues. “You do relax a little and get into the rhythm of it and your adrenaline kicks in. I think it went pretty well.”

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Alongside his coach Pato Reynoso, the Peruvian completed a 45-minute session with Alcaraz. During that time, neither player held back, with the Spaniard producing some frightening shots that the Peruvian defended with aplomb, perfectly fulfilling his role in Turin: to help fine-tune the best players in the world.

“It was incredible,” admitted Bueno. “The ball comes back so fast when he ups his forehand, it’s amazing. I couldn’t wait to practise with him because at 14 years of age we played in the same World Finals in Prostejov. Seeing him here is spectacular. Carlos is a very normal guy, like the rest of his team. In fact, I reminded him about the World Finals and we were talking about that. He’s a great guy.”

As well as training with Alcaraz, the Peruvian is making the most of the lessons that may help him tackle future challenges. Playing so many hours of tennis with the elite of the ATP Tour will give him invaluable experience and confidence.

“It’s an unbelievable experience for me,” said Bueno. “I feel like I’m learning a lot here, and that gives me extra motivation to play in the tournaments that I have at the end of the year. There are very few opportunities like this, so I really value it.

“Being here this week with the eight best players in the world, sharing the experience with them, having my own locker room, the restaurant… it’s all new to me and I’m really enjoying it so much.”

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Bueno will take encouragement from the fact that some players who have previously fulfilled his role at the Nitto ATP Finals have gone on to play in the event. Rune was a sparring partner in London in 2019 and in 2023 he is debuting at the tournament having claimed the final qualifying spot.

After his week as a practice partner in Turin, Bueno will get back to the final part of his 2023 season, before focusing on 2024, for which he already has one particular goal.

“We still haven’t met with the team, but it would be so exciting if I could play in the Grand Slams,” admitted the Peruvian. “I’m really close, and it would be a dream come true if I could compete in the main draw of a major. For now I want to focus on getting into the qualifiers and then we’ll see what happens.”

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Rune Energised By Djokovic Rivalry

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2023

Rune Energised By Djokovic Rivalry

Dane next plays Tsitsipas

Holger Rune and Novak Djokovic played out another three-set epic on Sunday at the Nitto ATP Finals, where the Serbian prevailed to move to 3-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. It is the fourth time in a row the pair’s clashes have gone to deciding sets, with Rune winning at least one set in all five encounters.

Despite his defeat, Rune was proud of how he fought against the World No. 1 again.

“We have had great matches always when we played,” Rune said. “Unfortunately I couldn’t do it today, but that’s how it is. I have to look forward and take the things out of the match I was happy with, take the things out of the match that I wasn’t happy with, and go back to the practise tomorrow and try to make them better.

“I thought it was a higher level match than in Paris, that I’m glad,” added Rune, who lost in three sets to Djokovic at the Masters 1000 event in France earlier this month. “The result was pretty similar. Novak is an amazing player.”

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Rune, who is making his debut at the prestigious year-end event, pushed Djokovic hard throughout the three-hour, four-minute clash before ultimately falling short. The 20-year-old is pleased with how he handled the physical element of the match.

“I think physically I felt okay. Of course, I feel it. We played [for] three hours. But I’m sure he also felt it a little bit,” Rune said. “I was ready, if I had the chance, from 5-3 to 5-4 to keep going, but that didn’t happen. I think I tried to manage my energy as good as possible during the match, not use too much unnecessary energy, and stay calm and play the tennis that I like to play.”

Watching on in Rune’s box was coach Boris Becker, who had a successful spell working with Djokovic from 2014-16. The Dane is pleased to be working with the German.

“It’s great. It’s really good. He [Becker] has been there many, many times himself, which helps,” Rune said. “He can give out from his experience, give that to me on how to handle the things on the court, off the court. We are still in the tournament, so let’s continue to fight.”

Rune will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in his second Green Group match before finishing against Jannik Sinner. The 20-year-old is still alive in the event.

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