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Tsitsipas On Nitto ATP Finals: 'It Carries A Lot Of Legacy & History'

  • Posted: Nov 10, 2023

Tsitsipas On Nitto ATP Finals: ‘It Carries A Lot Of Legacy & History’

Greek plays Sinner first

Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals for the fifth consecutive year when he takes to court in his opening round-robin match against Jannik Sinner. The Greek views the prestigious year-end event as a season highlight.

“I do believe that the [Nitto] ATP Finals come extremely close to a Slam experience,” Tsitsipas told ATP Media on Friday. “A Grand Slam you get to play even if you’re No.200 in the World, but not many people can say that they’ve played the Nitto ATP Finals, so for me, it has a significant importance. And it carries a lot of legacy and a lot of history with it. To be playing in such an event, very few people can brag about.”

Tsitsipas triumphed on debut at the tournament in 2019 when it was held in London. He has since won six tour-level titles, including two ATP Masters 1000 crowns (Monte-Carlo 2021, 22). The 25-year-old believes he has developed on and off the court since his crowning moment at the year-end event four years ago.

“I do have the mental calmness of a veteran and I feel that changing,” Tsitsipas said. “I felt this big change this year. I’m starting to feel and think different. This morning, I was actually reflecting on how much I have personally changed in my personality in the way also that I think about life and tennis on its own. I don’t know, whether that’s maturing or getting at a certain age where your perspective kind of changes but it has definitely been different for me for the past few months.”

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Tsitsipas holds a 51-22 record on the year and lines up in Green Group alongside Sinner, Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune. The Greek will open his campaign against Sinner and is ready for a tough battle despite leading the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series 5-2.

“He tends to play very fearless tennis and he moves very well,” Tsitsipas said. “He has improved his movement a lot and his consistency in his shots. I do believe that he’s a very athletic player. Not very muscley, not very heavy. He has that lightness about him when he covers the court. He can kind of get anywhere in the court within a few seconds and his reaction is very good. He has very good abilities and talent when it comes to feeling the ball and getting behind it.”

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Tsitsipas will also face World No. 1 Djokovic in the round-robin stage. The Serbian, who is a six-time champion at the event, leads Tsitsipas 11-2 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

“Novak has a very big presence when you’re facing him and you can certainly feel it’s tough to avoid that presence,” Tsitsipas said. “He has very good body language and his mental state and clarity when he plays is something you can really see that he’s very focused in the task and in the goal that he carries with him.

“This is something rare in tennis and there aren’t a lot of players that you can actually say that about them. He definitely has that intensified in his game. And that is something that I have absorbed and felt when playing him.”

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Sinner Relishing Turin Expectations: 'I Love To Play Under Pressure'

  • Posted: Nov 10, 2023

Sinner Relishing Turin Expectations: ‘I Love To Play Under Pressure’

Italian opens against Tsitsipas

All eyes will be on Italy’s Jannik Sinner when he takes to court at the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday in Turin. The home star, who competed at the Pala Alpitour as an alternate in 2021, is relishing the opportunity to show the Italian fans he can handle the pressure on one of the sport’s biggest stages.

“I’m happy to be here,” Sinner told ATP Media ahead of his first round-robin match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. “Happy that this event is here in Turin. Hopefully it’s something positive for me trying to have a great connection with the crowd and hopefully I can handle it and handle the situation with the right mentality, because I feel I have a little bit more pressure, which is a very positive sign for me.

“I love to play under pressure. I love to play tie-breaks, I love to play the important points because I feel like there you can see who has what kind of game. And I feel like I’m trying to find as many important points as possible. Also because this makes you grow and also I’m here trying to win, but also to add some experience package for the next tournaments.”

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Sinner has been drawn in Green Group at the prestigious year-end event alongside Novak Djokovic, Tsitsipas and Holger Rune. The 22-year-old is aware of the threats all three bring but is hoping to use the crowd support and prior Turin experience to his advantage this week.

“I had a great feeling two years ago when I went to court with the crowd,” said Sinner, who played two round-robin matches as an alternate in 2021. “The connection was great and hopefully I can have a little bit or the same amount of connection. The crowd is going to stay behind me in good times but hopefully especially in the bad times that they push me. They give me some positive energy and hopefully I can convert it into a high level.”

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Sinner, who is the only Italian in the eight-man singles field, was the fourth player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals after a standout season. The World No. 4 won four tour-level titles in 2023, including his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto.

The 22-year-old hopes he can use the momentum from his year in Turin.

“I had a very good season and I played fewer tournaments than last year but I played more matches,” said Sinner, who is 57-14 on the year. “It’s obviously a great sign for me and how I ended the past several tournaments was good. Hopefully I can show this here.”

Sinner plays 2019 champion Tsitsipas in his opening Green Group match on Sunday afternoon. The Italian trails the Greek 2-5 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series but is excited by the matchup.

“His strength is the serve plays really good and his high intensity,” Sinner said. “He puts a lot of intensity on the court. He also tries to go to the net a lot more, so it’s not easy to play against him. I’m really looking forward to it. It is going to be the first match for both of us.”

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Turin Contenders Gather For Official Photo, Palace Tour

  • Posted: Nov 10, 2023

Turin Contenders Gather For Official Photo, Palace Tour

Elite Eight steps out in style ahead of Sunday’s start of the Nitto ATP Finals

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and fellow Nitto ATP Finals contenders gathered at the Royal Palace Of Turin Friday evening for a spectacular official photo, media availability and reception ahead of Sunday’s opening day of play at the Pala Alpitour.

Dressed in smart casual, players signed autographs and posed for selfies with Italian fans in the late afternoon before entering the palace, where the official photo was taken on the grand staircase of the Musei Reali-Palazzo Reale di Torino, which was originally built in the 16th century.

“This palace is definitely one of the most stunning venues that I have seen in this city; it is incredibly historic and beautiful,” said World No. 1 and six-time tournament champion Novak Djokovic.

“This is my third time in Turin and I have enjoyed myself very much. The whole city this week lives for tennis. You can feel a lot of interest, a lot of attention and passion for tennis and sport in general.”

Once home to the House of Savoy, the palace and surrounding complex is located in the centre of Turin and is known for housing the Shroud of Turin, along with its impressive tapestries, extensive Royal Library, Museum of Antiquities and historic weapons collection.

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Friday’s palace visit came one day after the tournament draw. Djokovic leads the Green Group, which also features Jannik Sinner. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Rune. Making his debut, Alcaraz heads the Red Group that also features Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev.

“Obviously I’m very happy to be here first time that I have qualified officially,” said Italian Jannik Sinner, who played two matches in Turin as an alternate in 2021. “Playing here in Turin means a lot to me.”

The tournament runs 12-19 November. Defending champion Djokovic, who is on an 18-match winning streak, is seeking a record-breaking seventh Nitto ATP Finals crown. The Serbian also needs to win just one match to be guaranteed of earning ATP Year-End No. 1 presented by Pepperstone honours for the eighth time.

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Shevchenko Reaches First ATP Final In Metz

  • Posted: Nov 10, 2023

Shevchenko Reaches First ATP Final In Metz

22-year-old plays Fognini or Humbert in title match

Alexander Shevchenko advanced to his maiden tour-level final on Friday at the Moselle Open, where he overcame French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4 to continue his dream week in Metz.

The 22-year-old defeated Karen Khachanov to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final and backed up that win with a dominant display against Herbert to become the youngest Metz finalist since Lucas Pouille, 22, in 2016.

“It means the world to me,” Shevchenko said. “I have dreamt of this moment since I was a little kid. Going to sleep I thought maybe I could play in an ATP final and I did it. I will always remember this moment and it is something special.”

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Shevchenko broke Herbert’s serve three times and struck eight aces to advance after 77 minutes at the ATP 250 event. He will face Italian wild card Fabio Fognini or fourth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the title match.

Shevchenko is up 14 places to No. 49 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and is set to move to a new career-high on Monday. Earlier this year, the 22-year-old won two ATP Challenger Tour titles and advanced to the quarter-finals in Basel.

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Draper Breaks New Ground In Sofia, Matches Murray's Record

  • Posted: Nov 10, 2023

Draper Breaks New Ground In Sofia, Matches Murray’s Record

Mannarino reaches fourth final of year

Jack Draper became the youngest Briton to reach an ATP Tour final since Andy Murray in 2009 when he defeated third-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-4 on Friday at the Sofia Open.

The 21-year-old played front-foot tennis throughout the 84-minute clash, firing 10 aces to extend his winning streak to nine matches at all levels, having triumphed at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Italy last week.

“He is a player who has had an incredible year, won a lot of matches. I had to really dig deep today and I am proud of my performance,” Draper said. “I have made a couple of semi-finals and came short and especially after the year with the injuries and wanting to be back stronger, I have really achieved that and my game is in a great place.”

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Draper has yet to drop a set all week in Sofia and is up 22 spots to No. 60 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his 19th tour-level win of the season.

The lefty, who reached tour-level semi-finals in Eastbourne (2022) and in Adelaide (2023), will face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the final on Saturday at the ATP 250.

Mannarino moved past Pavel Kotov 6-2, 7-6(2) to move to within one win of his third tour-level title of the season. The second seed, who has earned a personal-best 42 tour-level wins this year, saved the one break point he faced to advance to his fourth final of 2023 after 87 minutes.

Earlier this year, the World No. 25 won trophies in Newport and Astana.

Did You Know?
A then-21-year-old Murray advanced to his maiden tour-level title match in Miami in 2009.

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2023 Next Gen ATP Finals Presented By NEOM: Innovation Takes Centre Stage In Jeddah

  • Posted: Nov 10, 2023

2023 Next Gen ATP Finals Presented By NEOM: Innovation Takes Centre Stage In Jeddah

Innovations and rules unveiled for the 2023 21-and-under event

Innovations and rules have been unveiled for the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM (28 November – 2 December). The tournament’s first edition in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia continues its role as a leading showcase for innovation in tennis.

Changes for 2023 are set to accelerate the event’s fast-paced format, enhance the fan experience, and enrich data and analytics for players, coaches and fans:

  • No on-court warm-up: Matches will start immediately after the coin toss, with a separate practice court available for warm-ups.
  • Shot-Clock Reductions: A new maximum of eight seconds will be introduced between first and second serves. This also applies after a let on first or second serve. As in previous editions, time between points will be reduced from 25 to 15 seconds if the previous point includes fewer than three shots.
  • Wearables: Players will be able to track and visualise biometric data during matches via wearable devices – providing a comprehensive overview of their physical performance and stress responses.
  • Insights: A new Physicality Index, developed by Tennis Data Innovations and Kinexon, will capture physical exertion through player and ball-tracking technology. Existing TDI insights such as Shot Quality will be leveraged in stadium for the first time.
  • In-match analytics: The newly launched Tennis IQ platform will be available to coaches sitting courtside along with data-tagged video footage, with match data updated in real time and visualised in stadium.
  • Basecamp: A new pre-event, off-court competition, Basecamp, will measure the skills and physicality of players through a series of tests, creating new ways for fans to analyse the game’s rising stars.
  • Lower umpire chair to reduce the visual obstruction for fans in the arena. Live Electronic Line Calling remains in place on all line calls.
  • Simplified scoreboard for improved fan engagement and understanding.
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Continued from previous editions:

  • Scoring format will be best of five tie-break sets. Each set will be first to four games with a tie-break played at 3-3. Games will be played using the No-Ad scoring format with the server choosing the service box.
  • Free fan movement allowed in stadium, except behind the baselines.
  • Reduced changeovers: No change of ends after the first game of a set. At the end of the set, players will sit down for 90 seconds (down from 120 seconds).

A host of premium international and national brands have partnered with the tournament in its first year in Jeddah. The impressive roster is headlined by NEOM, as the event’s presenting partner. NEOM is a region in north-western Saudi Arabia developing a new model for exceptional livability, an innovative economy with a focus on environmental conservation.

Other partners include Emirates Airline, Hilton and Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Co. (Platinum Partners), Dunlop, Xerjoff, and Al Arabia (Gold Partners) and J-B, Delta Fitness and Aquafina (Silver Partners). The event is hosted in partnership with the Saudi Tennis Federation.

The 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM will take place at the King Abdullah Sports City from 28 November-2 December 2023, with a record US $2 million prize money on offer.

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