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Djokovic Surges Past Alcaraz, Sets Sinner Final In Turin

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Djokovic Surges Past Alcaraz, Sets Sinner Final In Turin

Serbian is one win from record seventh Nitto ATP Finals crown

Novak Djokovic capped a year of tense battles with Carlos Alcaraz in style Saturday at the Nitto ATP Finals, where the World No. 1 powered to a 6-3, 6-2 semi-final victory against the Spaniard.

Djokovic was at his rock-solid best throughout the 88-minute encounter in Turin to notch his third win in four Lexus ATP Head2Head clashes with Alcaraz this year. The Serbian offered few attacking opportunities to his powerful opponent by consistently striking deep and clinched a break of Alcaraz’s serve in each set to set a championship-match meeting with home favourite Jannik Sinner.

“After spending a lot of time on the court in the first three matches, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel tonight,” said Djokovic. “This year I wasn’t maybe as sharp in the second and third group matches, particularly, but I think tonight from the very beginning I felt the ball well.

“I approached the match with the right attitude, the right mentality, and I knew from the very first point it was going to be greatly intense. He had break points right away, 15/40 in the first game. That’s Carlos. He always brings out his best in these kinds of matches and starts with a lot of high quality tennis and intensity. You’ve got to match that, try to weather the storm, and I did that.”

Djokovic and Alcaraz’s previous meetings this year include the Spaniard’s stunning five-set win in the final at Wimbledon, and Djokovic saving match point to prevail in the Cincinnati championship match. The latest rendition of the rivalry never quite hit those levels of drama, however, as Djokovic clinically took his chances to triumph in the pair’s maiden meeting indoors.

Despite sending down plenty of big serves, including 10 aces, Alcaraz struggled to keep control behind his delivery. He won just 62 per cent (29/47) of points on first serves, an indication of how dialled in Djokovic was on return.

With his win, Djokovic moved within one match of becoming champion at the prestigious season finale for a record seventh time. The 36-year-old went 2-1 in group play in Turin, where his only defeat came against his next opponent: Sinner. The clash of a Nitto ATP Finals master with an in-form home favourite promises to be a blockbuster ending to the week in Turin.

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“He’s been playing fantastic tennis, arguably the best tennis of his life,” said Djokovic of Sinner. “On this stage, against Top 10 players. We played, 7-6 in the third, a very close match the other night. The atmosphere was unbelievable, electric really. I don’t expect anything less than that, probably even louder than what we had in the group-stage matchup.

“It’s the final, I’ve been in this situation before many times. I’m really happy with the way I’m feeling, the way I’m playing, so hopefully I can deliver my A game tomorrow.”

Djokovic will be attempting to become the third player in six years to avenge a group defeat in the championship match. Alexander Zverev reversed group losses to Daniil Medvedev (2021) and Djokovic (2018) to win the title match. Djokovic has accomplished the feat once before, rebounding from a group loss to Roger Federer to take the 2015 title.

Saturday night’s match did not start smoothly for Djokovic, who immediately found himself 15/40 down on serve in the opening game. Perhaps wary of Alcaraz’s power, the Serbian gambled with big second serves in a bid to escape, and it paid off as he won four straight points to hold.

A first set of narrow margins was ultimately decided in the eighth game, when Djokovic raised his level on return to claim a crucial break before serving out to love.

Despite sending down plenty of big serves, Alcaraz struggled to hit through Djokovic’s defences with any regularity on the fast Pala Alpitour court. The Serbian had opened a 3-2 lead with a break in the second set before Alcaraz began to find joy with some trademark big hitting, but Djokovic again rallied from 15/40 to hold for 4-2 before marching to victory.

“I served well in important moments and the match shifted when it was 4-3 and I broke with new balls,” said Djokovic. “He missed a couple of backhands, and it gave me the break. From that moment I really played flawless tennis.”

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Ram/Salisbury Continue Title Defence In Turin, Reach Final

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Ram/Salisbury Continue Title Defence In Turin, Reach Final

Sixth seeds meet Granollers/Zeballos in final

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury moved to within one win of successfully defending their Nitto ATP Finals crown on Saturday when they defeated Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, ending the fourth seeds Year-End ATP Doubles No. 1 presented by Pepperstone hopes.

As they have done throughout their time together, the American-British pair came up with big shots in big moments, finding first serves and penetrating returns to triumph 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-7 after one hour and 50 minutes.

Ram and Salisbury have now won their past nine matches in Turin, having lifted the trophy at the year-end event 12 months ago. They will aim to make it 10 and successive crowns when they play Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in the final.

“It is amazing,” Salisbury said. “I can’t quite believe it. We have had some really tough matches this week. We have not always played our best but we managed to come through and it feels that there is something speical playing here. It is amazing to play in another final here tomorrow.”

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Earlier this season, the American-British team won their third consecutive US Open crown, while they won tour-level events in Lyon and Vienna.

“It took us sticking together and believing that got us through in the end,” Ram said. “The tennis is so marginal. Those guys have had a great year and great recent form.”

Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin were making their first appearance at the year-end event as a team, with Gonzalez the third Mexican to qualify for the semi-finals in tournament history. The Mexican-French pair lifted five tour-level trophies this year, including ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Paris.

Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin can no longer finish the year at No. 1. If Granollers and Zeballos win the title they will end the season in top spot. If not, Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek will receive Year-End ATP Doubles No. 1 presented by Pepperstone honours.

Did You Know
Ram and Salisbury have now won three Match Tie-breaks at this year’s Nitto ATP Finals.

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Medvedev Proud Of 66-Win Season

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Medvedev Proud Of 66-Win Season

World No. 3 finishes with five titles, including two ATP Masters 1000s

Daniil Medvedev’s season finished on a much higher note this year than last.

The former World No. 1 left Turin 12 months ago with nothing to show except three heart-breaking third-set tie-break losses from the Nitto ATP Finals. This time around he returned to the semi-finals after earning a 2-1 group record to cap an impressive year that yielded 66 match wins and a record five titles.

“I’m happy. Was a great season,” said Medvedev, who will finish at No. 3 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “Some ups, some downs for sure. Big up was in the beginning of the season. I was proud of myself because before Rotterdam I dropped out of the Top 10… I was feeling terrible, awful. I couldn’t put the ball in the court.

“After [that] everything went better. Titles, finals, stuff like this. Generally, I’m happy with what I achieved this season. I’m going to try to learn from it and try to go for more in the next season because Sinner, Alcaraz, Novak, they play only better and better. If you want to try to stay on the top, you have to improve non-stop.”

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Medvedev got hot early in the season, running up a 19-match winning streak with titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and a run to the final in Indian Wells. He followed with his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami and during the clay swing surprised with a title in Rome.

Medvedev rallied from dropping the first set Saturday against Sinner but ultimately was unable to stop the momentum of the Italian, who has won 17 of his past 18 matches and who is riding a wave of vociferous home support at the Pala Alpitour.

“I’m very impressed, to be honest,” Medvedev said of Sinner’s level. “He doesn’t miss much, he can run well. If you give him easy ball, you feel like he moves you over the court. He can volley well. Serve has improved a lot.

“I generally believe if he plays like this, like he played last weeks, all the time, he’s going to have Slams, No. 1. Then it comes to how many weeks, how many Slams, stuff like this. Sometimes this way ends. The question is how often is he going to ride it. When he’s not on the wave, how good he plays. That’s the way tennis is.

“But at the moment he is very, very good, and there’s not much more to add.”

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Medvedev is now looking for a relaxing beach on which to take time out and hinted that he may have a lighter January schedule than normal.

“To be honest, I haven’t been on like off-season vacation as some players. One time I had Davis Cup. Last year we had a small baby, so… I was straightaway back to the duties.

“This year we’re going to go with my wife to the islands. First time in maybe four, five years. She doesn’t like it too much there because there is not much to do. But for me, that’s perfect after a hectic season. I love it (smiling).

“I’m probably going to play only Australian Open. Going to try like this to have more of a vacation time than usual and more off-season time and start with a slam straightaway, which is going to be new for me.”

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POSTERS: Champions' Edition!

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

POSTERS: Champions’ Edition!

Champions customise official poster with Honor Titus

In Turin, the top eight players in the world customised their own version of the Nitto ATP Finals Official Poster, in collaboration with Honor Titus.

Now, fans have an opportunity to own these eight one-of-a-kind pieces, created by their favourite players on Media Day ahead of the season finale.

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These special posters are on auction this weekend, with all proceeds going to support an environmental sustainability project in the event’s host city.

Each poster is on auction through OpenSea as a digital collectible, powered by Polygon. The winning bidder will also be sent a physical print, directly to their home. The auction closes on Sunday, 19 November at 11:59pm CET.

Browse the player posters and auction below, or customise your own Nitto ATP Finals Official Poster.

Honor Titus x Novak Djokovic (View Djokovic’s Creation)

<a href=Novak Djokovic” />

Honor Titus x Carlos Alcaraz (View Alcaraz’s Creation)

<a href=Carlos Alcaraz Poster” />

Honor Titus x Daniil Medvedev (View Medvedev’s Creation)

<a href=Daniil Medvedev” />

Honor Titus x Jannik Sinner (View Sinner’s Creation)

<a href=Jannik Sinner Poster” />

Honor Titus x Andrey Rublev (View Rublev’s Creation)

<a href=Andrey Rublev Poster” />

Honor Titus x Stefanos Tsitsipas (View Tsitsipas’ Creation)

<a href=Stefanos Tsitsipas Poster” />

Honor Titus x Alexander Zverev (View Zverev’s Creation)

<a href=Alexander Zverev” />

Honor Titus x Holger Rune (View Rune’s Creation)

<a href=Holger Rune” />

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Superb Sinner Sinks Medvedev To Reach Dream Final In Turin

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Superb Sinner Sinks Medvedev To Reach Dream Final In Turin

Home favourite will play Djokovic or Alcaraz in championship match

Jannik Sinner’s late-year surge has taken him to the brink of Nitto ATP Finals glory.

The Italian delivered a gutsy semi-final display Saturday at the prestigious season finale to overcome Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1 and book his spot in the championship match. Faced with an elite opponent and the expectations of an adoring home crowd, Sinner delivered a largely ice-cool display packed with clean baseline hitting to extend his unbeaten week in Turin.

“[It is an] incredible feeling,” said the 22-year-old Sinner. “It was a really tough match today. I felt that he was playing more aggressively, especially in the first set. Somehow I made the break and from that point I felt better. The second set was really tight but then he played a very good tie-break. In the third set I just tried to stay a bit more aggressive and mixing up my game a little bit. I am happy to be in the final.”

Sinner needed to stay at his best throughout the two-hour, 29-minute clash to down the typically resilient Medvedev. Crucially, the 22-year-old reacted superbly to the disappointment of losing the second-set tie-break, as he marched through the decider to cap a victory in which he won 83 per cent (50/60) of points behind his first serve.

After not beating Medvedev in the pair’s first six tour-level meetings, Sinner is now 3-6 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, having also defeated his rival to become champion in both Beijing and Vienna in October. The turnaround of his matchup with Medvedev has been part of a wider streak of red-hot form for Sinner, who is 17-2 since the US Open.

Awaiting Sinner in Sunday’s final will be Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz, who meet in another blockbuster semi-final on Saturday night inside the Pala Alpitour. The Italian won his most recent Lexus ATP Head2Head clash with both of his potential championship-match opponents — he defeated World No. 1 Djokovic for the first time in four tour-level meetings in a group-stage clash on Tuesday in Turin, while he prevailed against Alcaraz in the Beijing semi-finals in October.

Should Sinner go on to beat Djokovic or Alcaraz and lift the trophy, he will become the first Italian winner in the 54-year history of the Nitto ATP Finals. He would also take home US$4,801,500, the biggest payday in tennis history, by becoming undefeated champion in Turin.

“It is a privilege to have this kind of pressure,” said Sinner, when asked about his home support. “Even the week before this event I felt really good on this court. It is quite fast. The crowd has given me so much energy.”

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It was Medvedev who settled more quickly into Saturday’s afternoon semi-final. The World No. 3 dominated the early baseline exchanges and carved out the first break point of the match in the third game. Sinner held firm, however, and then found a high-quality moment in the next game that appeared to flick a switch inside him.

Medvedev was serving at 40/0 when Sinner crushed a huge backhand down-the-line winner, and the home favourite reeled off the four following points to clinch a crucial break. The Italian, who also broke from 40/0 down against Djokovic earlier this week, dialled in on serve and looked untroubled as he went on to take the opening set having won 89 per cent (17/19) of points behind his first delivery.

Despite that disappointment, Medvedev continued to push Sinner with his trademark consistency and deep groundstrokes into the second set, but the Italian showed few signs of cracking. At 3-4 and 15/30 down on his own serve, Sinner beat Medvedev at his own game for two crucial points in a row, outlasting the World No. 3 in extended baseline rallies. Although he still faced a break point at 40/A, the Italian dug deep to escape the game.

Medvedev’s persistence was finally rewarded in the second-set tie-break, however, as he capitalised on a fast start to force a decider and dampen the spirits of the home fans. Yet the 26-year-old was unable to maintain that momentum into the third set. He saved two break points from 0-1, 15/40 but, when faced with a third in the same game, he gambled on a big second serve and went long to gift Sinner an early advantage in the decider.

From there, Sinner took command and offered an increasingly frustrated Medvedev few opportunities to mount a comeback. The Italian clinched a second break of the set in the sixth game before serving out to love and raising his arms to the joyous home crowd.

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Granollers & Zeballos Cut Path From Challenger To Turin Final

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Granollers & Zeballos Cut Path From Challenger To Turin Final

Duo also in contention to finish the year as No. 1 team

On 1 May this year, while the Mutua Madrid Open was in its final week, Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos were busy elsewhere, winning their first-round clash in Aix-En-Provence, a tournament on the ATP Challenger Tour. This Saturday, when the Spanish-Argentine duo progressed to the decisive match of the Nitto ATP Finals, they could not help but remember that turning point in their season, which may now end in the best possible way if they are crowned champions in Turin.

“We did go through a difficult spell in terms of results, but it made us stronger,” remembered Granollers. “We spoke more during that time, spent more time together, trained more to see how we could improve. Basically, we had to get through it,” he added. “We went to play in a Challenger, convinced that we had to play some matches. And here is our reward; we came through the difficult times, and we’re getting some big results.”

That ‘difficult spell’ Granollers spoke about, stretched from Buenos Aires to Aix-En-Provence, time during which the team suffered eight defeats and only picked up one win, a record that is difficult to accept for a duo with plenty of experience among the elite.

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Playing in that ATP Challenger Tour event, as well as doubling down on training and the conversations off court, had an almost instant effect: The pair reeled off semi-finals in Rome, the final in Geneva, semi-finals at Roland Garros, the Wimbledon final, semi-finals in Canada, and the title in Shanghai, among other results. Hence their qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals.

“This week we’re both playing very well,” exclaimed Zeballos. “We’re a stable pair, the years are going by and I feel very comfortable with him and I think Marcel does too. So we have to keep having fun, both on and off the court,” continued the Argentine.

“At the end of the day, you come here, you know all the matches are going to be very tough,” Granollers continued. “We’re playing against the best teams on a fast court, and indoor. You expect difficult matches, and that’s what we’re getting. Everything is decided in the key moments and on the finer details.”

Despite that, Granollers and Zeballos are unbeaten in their run at the Nitto ATP Finals and have only dropped one set along the way (on day one, against Santiago González and Edouard Roger-Vasselin).

Granollers has already won the Nitto ATP Finals (in 2012, alongside Marc López), and Zeballos has also played in big finals (two at Wimbledon – 2021 and 2023 – and another at the 2019 US Open).

“We’ve played in many finals and we’re trying to approach it as if it were the first round,” explained Zeballos. “Particularly here, I keep saying that every match is a final. Tomorrow that’s actually true, but we’re going to keep treating it the same,” continued the Argentine. “We’ll try to do everything that’s in our hands: control the tennis and our minds. Hopefully then we’ll get the result we want.”

“We have to continue doing the same,” agreed Granollers. “Of course, it’s a final, but we’ve played important finals already and we have to concentrate on the level we’re producing and on doing our own thing,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

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Bopanna & Ebden Face Off In Lexus ATP Head2Head Scavenger Hunt

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Bopanna & Ebden Face Off In Lexus ATP Head2Head Scavenger Hunt

Watch the video from Turin below

Rohan Bopanna and Marcel Granollers have formed a formidable partnership on court this season. They have won two tour-level titles and reached the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals.

This week in Turin they had to put teamwork to one side, though, as they faced off in the latest ATP Head2Head Scavenger Hunt.

Bopanna and Ebden had 40 minutes to find a number of sites and items across Turin, ranging from the famous clock tower to tennis balls and postcards. With the loser facing a forfeit, the pressure was well and truly on.

Watch the full Lexus ATP Head2Head Scavenger Hunt below to find out who came out on top.

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Andy Murray To Miss Davis Cup Final 8 Due To Injury

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2023

Andy Murray To Miss Davis Cup Final 8 Due To Injury

Briton has minor shoulder problem

Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Great Britain squad for the Davis Cup Final 8, the former World No. 1 has confirmed.

The 36-year-old Murray has picked up a minor shoulder injury which has ruled him out of his country’s quarter-final clash with Serbia, which is scheduled to take place in Malaga on Thursday.

Murray played a major role in Great Britain’s run to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Captain Leon Smith can still fall back on a strong squad for the nation’s quarter-final tie, however. Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper will likely lead the singles charge against a Serbia team led by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, while Smith also has Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski available for doubles selection.

The 2023 Davis Cup concludes in Malaga from 21-26 November, when The Final 8 teams compete in a knockout format to decide the winner of the annual teams event.

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