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Tennis At Home With Dominic Thiem

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Tennis At Home With Dominic Thiem

Learn what the World No. 3 has been up to while staying at home in Austria

Dominic Thiem revealed in the ATP Tour’s #TennisAtHome campaign how he has been occupying himself at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s like everyone else. Safety first,” Thiem said. “Just try to keep fit a little bit, spend some time with my parents, spend some time with my dog. I think he’s the happiest about all of this situation, as he can see us now for a long time.”

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Thiem is staying at home with his family in Austria. The World No. 3 has taken advantage of that in the kitchen.

“I only eat food which is from the region here and I really enjoy that,” Thiem said. “Maybe I improve a little bit my cooking skills when I’m home that much.”

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Andrey Rublev Is A Man On A Mission

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Andrey Rublev Is A Man On A Mission

Russian reflects on his red-hot start to 2020

Andrey Rublev played some of the best tennis of his career to start the 2020 season, winning his first 11 matches, including back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

“It’s amazing and it’s unbelievable,” Rublev told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “At the same time, I understand that it’s something unreal.”

The Russian came out firing from the beginning of the year, harnessing his massive baseline power to plow through opponent after opponent. The two-time Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier had long shown his potential to compete with the best in the world, but he slightly surprised himself with his incredible season-starting run, which ended with a loss against 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

“It was a little bit strange because during this pre-season, I was thinking, ‘I’m not working enough, I’m not working enough, I need to work harder, I need to work better.’ Every day it was like this. It was not enough,” Rublev said. “I was thinking, ‘What is this? If I want to be on a good level, this is not the game. I need to do something better, I need to work harder, I need to have a better attitude, I need to play smarter.’ The mood was never enough, never enough, never enough. But in the end, when I started the season, everything was good.”

Rublev earned a 38-19 record in 2019, finishing as No. 23 in the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings. But the 22-year-old was hungry for more, relentless in his pursuit of improvement. It wasn’t that he craved a certain milestone; he simply wanted to get better.

“I tried to work hard every day. I was not expecting nothing, I was not trying to think, ‘Oh, I hope I will start the season good.’ Of course I would like to start the season good, but I was not hoping, I was not expecting nothing, I was thinking like a machine, [that] I will work hard, I will try to do my best,” Rublev said. “If I lose first round, at least I know that I did my best and that’s it. If I do my best and I do third or fourth round okay, perfect, then it’s even better.”

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The current World No. 14 did not lose a set at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, defeating #NextGenATP Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the final. Rublev’s third ATP Tour title left him with a decision to make.

“I remember when I won Doha, most of the members of my team were telling me to pull out, maybe it’s a better idea. But then I said, ‘Why not [play]? I’m having a bye there in Adelaide, I’m going to arrive there and still have two days. Let’s see how I feel. If I’ll be completely dead, if I feel that physically I am weak, I feel pain in some areas of my body, we have time to pull out. But at least let’s try, we never know,’” Rublev said. “I started to play better and better and in the end I won Adelaide. It’s something unreal, but of course it was amazing to start the season in this way.”

Rublev lost a set against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniel Evans at the Adelaide International, but he never panicked. Instead, he persevered. In the past, that might not have been the case.

“Everybody has his own problems that he needs to face and to learn how to face them strongly to grow up,” Rublev said. “I never even won two titles in one year, and now I won two titles in a row, so something is not real. I need to accept that it’s not going to be like that. That it happened is perfect, but I need to be in real life and understand that there are so many things to work on.”

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

The Moscow native has proven to himself and the world that he could compete — and win — on the world’s biggest stages. That is no longer in doubt.

“When I have bad days, bad weeks, how will I face them? This is now the most important thing for me,” Rublev said. “There is still a mental part. I think out of the Top 20 I am one of the weakest, so we’ll see. I am looking positively forward and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is not setting his gaze on a particular FedEx ATP Ranking goal. Instead, he’s working on his mental and physical game, and letting the effects of that pay dividends.

“You just need to be calm and positive, which is so simple and so easy. No matter what happens, be positive, do your best. It’s so simple. But this is the tough thing,” Rublev said. “The main goal for this year is every day to be mentally strong, to be mentally always positive.”

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Tsonga's Training, Khachanov's Challenge: Best Social Media Posts Of The Week

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Tsonga’s Training, Khachanov’s Challenge: Best Social Media Posts Of The Week

ATPTour.com looks at what your favourite players have been up to

Your favourite players are all finding ways to stay busy and remain in shape while doing their part to flatten the curve. From Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s bold vow to Karen Khachanov’s unique challenge, find out how the biggest names in tennis are keeping active.

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Novak Djokovic is spending time with his family and encouraged his social media followers to stay at home.

Rafael Nadal thanked those on the frontlines of combatting COVID-19 and encouraged those who are suffering from it.

Fabio Fognini gave himself a new look.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vowed to return stronger than ever when he steps back on court.

Roberto Bautista Agut is finding ways to stay on top of his fitness from the comfort of home.

Diego Schwartzman is ramping up his cardio and strength training sessions.

No gym access? John Millman found a unique substitute for dumbbells.

Gael Monfils won’t skip leg day under any circumstances.

Karen Khachanov took the 20-Touch Challenge, but isn’t quite there yet.

Hubert Hurkacz is still learning how to navigate smaller spaces.

Alex de Minaur made a new friend at home.

Stan Wawrinka is finding unique ways to keep romance in his life.

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Gaudenzi Addresses Tour Suspension, Acknowledges Uncertainty

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Gaudenzi Addresses Tour Suspension, Acknowledges Uncertainty

Chairman encourages tennis community to unite to help defeat COVID-19

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says that resuming play in time for the grass-court season remains the Tour’s goal but acknowledges that definitive planning is difficult while the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown.

The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this month was the first ATP Tour event to be hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The current suspension of the Tour is scheduled to run through 7 June, inclusive of the entire Spring clay-court season.

“Unfortunately, the repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across all areas of society, as well as by our players, tournaments, and the Tour,” said Gaudenzi, who began serving as ATP Chairman on 1 January. “This is bigger than any sport. The current situation raises many questions which we empathize with greatly, and we are working hard on evaluating all options.

“Our ability to address any supportive measures will be best guided once we know the duration of the crisis and when the Tour will resume, which remains unknown at this time. This remains an evolving situation that will require significant time to deal with in the coming weeks and months, and we must avoid making any rushed decisions without knowing first when the crisis will end. Understanding the full duration and scale of this crisis will be critical to addressing any measures related to its repercussions.

Despite acknowledging the current uncertainty, Gaudenzi said that the calendar is under continuous review and further clarity about the likelihood of the grass season should come next month.

“We continue to assess all options related to preserving and maximising the calendar based on various return dates for the Tour. It goes without saying that full cooperation with the other governing bodies is essential. We are in close discussion with all the grass-court events and they remain on the calendar as scheduled at this time,” he said. “The reality is this is a rapidly evolving situation and there is no option other than to take this day-by-day and week-by-week.”

On 12 March ATP announced a six-week suspension of play at Tour and Challenger level through 20 April. Last week ATP and WTA jointly announced that no ATP and WTA tournaments in the Spring clay-court swing would be held as scheduled. This includes the combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, along with the WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.

Additionally, both Tours have frozen their rankings.

“It is hard to fathom what has happened in the world in the past few weeks and it’s remarkable to think that, in ordinary times, last Sunday would have seen the culmination of the first ATP Masters 1000 of the year in Indian Wells,” Gaudenzi said.

“The current suspension of the Tour leaves a big void in all our lives. However, we are seeking to play our part over the coming weeks through our digital and social media platforms which, among other initiatives, has included the launch of a #tennisathome content campaign to deliver some positive and fresh content to our fans.”

A native of Italy, the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus, Gaudenzi has implored players, tournaments and tennis fans to spread word of key countermeasures to combat the pandemic.

“This is a time of considerable uncertainty for all and there is nothing more important than prioritising health. On a personal level, the stories I have heard from acquaintances at home in Italy are harrowing. The need to take this seriously, stay at home and practice responsible social distancing, is paramount and we urge everyone in the tennis community to spread this important message in the days and weeks ahead.”

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Why Djokovic's Points Won Tally Is Superhuman

  • Posted: Mar 23, 2020

Why Djokovic’s Points Won Tally Is Superhuman

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers looks at how the Big Three are on top in total points won

What have you got to do to win 52 per cent or more of your points over an extended period? Basically, be Superman.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of points won over a five-year span from 2015-2019 identifies that only six active players won more than 52 per cent of their points. They were Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro.

Only Djokovic, Nadal and Federer were able to climb above the 54 per cent threshold, which is just another indicator of how the Big Three separate themselves from the pack. The win percentages for the six players are:

2015-2019: Total Points Won > 52 percent

 

Player

Total Points Won/Points Played

Win Percentage

N. Djokovic

25,921/47,169

54.95%

R. Nadal

23,753/43,403

54.73%

R. Federer

22,516/41,281

54.54%

A. Murray

17,263/32,520

53.08%

M. Raonic

18,425/35,140

52.43%

J.M. del Potro

12,822/24,458

52.42%

Nadal led the Tour from 2017 to 2019 with points won in a single season, including the highest single-season percentage of 55.77 per cent (4,891/8,770), which he posted last year. The season leaders from 2015-2019 are:

Season Leader – Total Points Won
•2015: N. Djokovic = 55.53% (6054/10902)
•2016: N. Djokovic = 55.27% (5469/9895)
•2017: R. Nadal = 55.53% (5966/10744)
•2018: R. Nadal = 55.42% (4226/7626)
•2019: R. Nadal = 55.77% (4891/8770)

There are 16 more players who won between 51 per cent and 52 per cent of total points from 2015 to 2019, with the five highest being Marin Cilic (51.91%), Kei Nishikori (51.88%), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (51.81%), Dominic Thiem (51.74%) and Gael Monfils (51.72%).

You would think that posting a FedEx ATP Ranking around the Top 50 would also match with winning many more points than those lost, but only 53 players barely won more than 50 per cent of their points over the five-year period, with 47 of them living in the 50-52 per cent range.

Djokovic went on a tear to start 2020, going 18-0 in his first three events of the season. During the undefeated run, he only needed to notch up his percentage of total points won, which is typically right around 55 per cent, by one percentage point – to 56.03 per cent. The leading five players through the first two months of 2020 are:

2020 Leaders (Jan/Feb)
N. Djokovic = 56.03% (1635/2918)
R. Nadal = 55.46% (1330/2398)
R. Bautista Agut = 54.63% (1032/1889)
S. Tsitsipas = 54.07% (1241/2295)
A. Rublev = 53.71% (1464/2726)

Sixty-seven players won more points than they lost to start the 2020 season. When the Tour resumes, finding one or two more points out of every hundred will have real purpose now that we better understand the razor-thin margins that success in our sport are built upon.

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Djokovic & Federer Urge Fans To Stay Home

  • Posted: Mar 23, 2020

Djokovic & Federer Urge Fans To Stay Home

Tennis superstars share their thoughts on Instagram

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have joined the large list of ATP Tour players who are staying at home and playing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Djokovic took to Instagram on Sunday and encouraged fans to join him in practising social distancing. The World No. 1 said that flattening the curve will require a worldwide effort and saluted the medical professionals who are working to treat those currently infected.

“Very challenging times for everyone. I am sending support and prayers,” Djokovic wrote. “Please stay at home in quarantine and help frontline medical people to help all the people infected and in need. Let’s not burden them in these critical times more than they already are.”

His views are also shared by Federer. The Swiss answered federal councillor Alain Berset, Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, in an Instagram challenge. Berset stressed that everyone has a part to play in fighting the virus and invited Federer, along with TV host Christa Rigozzi and rapper Stress, to share the message with their social media followers.

“I wash my hands several times a day and I stay at home. It is very important to think about the older and more vulnerable people. We have to keep a distance of two metres and we don’t shake hands at the moment,” Federer said. “These are difficult times and I hope that everyone takes this seriously.”

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Federer and Djokovic are both spending quality time with their families while staying at home. Djokovic urged others to do the same, be kind to others and try to make the best of the current situation.

“We can’t be healthy if our world isn’t healthy. This is the time for all of us to get together and unite,” Djokovic said. “Let’s really try to spend quality time with our family at home [and] enjoy the little things in life. Let’s try to laugh, love and dedicate time to inner work… This is a great opportunity to do that.

“We are all one. We all live in the same world. Please treat people and nature like you would treat yourself. God bless you all. We will be stronger and more united, I am sure.”

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Rafa Pays Tribute To Carers On Coronavirus Front Line

  • Posted: Mar 22, 2020

Rafa Pays Tribute To Carers On Coronavirus Front Line

Spaniard encourages those suffering during this pandemic

Rafael Nadal took to social media on Saturday evening to share a message in support of those dealing with the worldwide coronavirus situation. In Spanish, the 33-year-old thanked those on the front lines combatting the virus, encouraged those who are suffering from it and more.

See the full message, in English, below.

Hi everyone.

First of all, I just wanted to apologise because I was out of social media for some time, but these are very difficult times for everyone. This whole situation is overwhelming us and we are all committed in the best possible way from our homes.

I wanted to send a message of thanks to all the doctors, nurses and all the health personnel who are all protecting us, and to the police forces, civil and national guard, the army, and all those who make us feel a little safer, who are in the first line of fire. After all, they are those who are most at risk of catching [the virus] and they are our heroes. I want to express my admiration and thank you all.

Finally, I want to send encouragement to all the families who are suffering, both the infected, and especially those with relatives or friends who have died from the coronavirus. Send them a message of encouragement. It is difficult to say something in these difficult times, and I can only say in this case that we all feel very sorry, that we trust that at this moment we can go ahead with our lives as soon as possible.

There are also positive things in these difficult times. We are demonstrating to be a united people, many companies are being supportive and contributing, and all citizens are showing ourselves united day after day, complying with all the standards that health [departments] advises us: stay at home, follow all the indications to end this terrible pandemic as soon as possible.

Thank you and see you soon,

Rafa

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From Wooden Racquet To Global Superstar: Federer's Dream Continues

  • Posted: Mar 22, 2020

From Wooden Racquet To Global Superstar: Federer’s Dream Continues

Federer takes fans back to the beginning of his tennis journey

Roger Federer has won 103 tour-level titles, 20 Grand Slam championships, and spent a record 310 weeks atop the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Swiss’ strokes have become iconic.

However, Federer wasn’t always the legend with countless eyes glued to his every move. 

“My first memories go back to playing with a wooden racquet. Instead of the neon yellow tennis balls I started off with the white tennis balls. In Switzerland, we used a lot of pressure-less tennis balls as well. I don’t know how many players of this generation today could say that,” Federer told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot, cracking a laugh. “I remember playing against the wall and at the cupboards and the garage doors for hours.”

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Federer was just like every other kid, falling in love with the sport for various reasons. He famously was a ball boy at the Swiss Indoors Basel, an ATP Tour event that he has won 10 times, including in each of the past three years.

“[I collected] a lot of the stickers as well. There was a year, I guess it was the beginning of the 90s, when all the old tennis players were in [a book],” Federer said. “It was about the tournaments, about the trophies, about the players, so I got to know them all. And then eventually also became a ball boy in my hometown event in Basel.

“I used to chase the players for autographs, which at the time was not a big deal, as the selfie didn’t exist. So those are my memories really from back then.”

Federer has won 1,242 tour-level singles matches, earned 224 Top 10 victories, and lifted an ATP Tour trophy in 18 of the past 19 years. But he never dreamt that big as a kid.

“Thinking back on how it used to be, you have a dream and a hope that one day you’ll become a Top 100 player and maybe play on some of the [big] courts. Next thing you know, it’s normal to play on centre court, it’s normal to play in front of 15,000 people,” Federer said. “Sometimes you tend to forget what a privilege that is. I feel like I never did forget. I enjoyed every single time it does happen and I try to enjoy it as much as I can.”

When Federer was young, his parents didn’t exclusively groom him to become the next tennis superstar. In fact, Lynette Federer and Robert Federer were concerned about far more than sports.

“The original mindset in Switzerland is of course education always goes first. That was the same that my parents also taught me, but I do believe it’s starting to happen more and more that people actually believe that also sports can be a future and a career and a path,” Federer said. “I hope that through what I do on a tennis court that I show them, maybe also I lead the way a little bit. That’s also going to be helpful for the next generation of superstar athletes from Switzerland.”

That doesn’t mean that Federer grew up in a country where sports weren’t prevalent. He has long supported FC Basel, his hometown’s football club.

“I think the Swiss really love their sports,” Federer said. “They might show a little bit less craziness about certain athletes or clubs [than] maybe in Latin countries or other places. But at the end of the day, we love our sports.”

Federer is 38, and he has experienced all tennis has to offer. But he takes nothing for granted.

“I try to give my absolute best effort every single day I walk on a practice court or on a match court and I try to interact with the fans and let them know how thankful I am,” Federer said. “It’s definitely been a hell of a ride. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”

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Serving To Nadal? Don't Drop The First Point

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2020

Serving To Nadal? Don’t Drop The First Point

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers examines why Top 10 players are so dangerous in return games

Would you rather be serving at Deuce or 0/15 against Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or any other player in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings?

When you’re serving at Deuce, members of the Top 10 like Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are definitely a threat to break you. After all, they just need to win two points. From 0/15, their chances, at least at first glance, seem lower because they need to win an additional three points to break.

On the other side of the coin, as the server, you only need two points to hold at Deuce, but you need to win four points from 0/15.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the year-end Top 10 from the 2019 season reveals that the world’s Top 10 were considerably more likely to break serve when returning from 0/15 than from Deuce.

Year-End Top 10: Percentage Breaking Serve
• From 0/15=42% (1330/3168)
• From Deuce=33% (674/2051)

From 0/15, the Top 10 broke serve 42 per cent of the time. From Deuce, the rate dropped to 33 per cent.

Of the 16 possible point scores, Nadal was the Top 10 leader in breaking serve from 13 of them. Djokovic took the honors in the other three: 0/40, 15/40 and 30/40.

Incredibly, Nadal was favoured to break serve last season when he won the first point of the game to move the score to 0/15, winning 50.7 per cent of return games from that position. The other nine members of the Top 10 averaged breaking serve 41.1 per cent (1177/2866) of the time from 0/15.

But when the server fell behind 0/40, Nadal was only sixth-best among his peers. He broke serve 84 per cent of the time, behind Djokovic (91%), Thiem (91%), Federer (90%), Monfils (89%) and Medvedev (85%).

From 15/40, Nadal broke serve 79 per cent of the time, the fifth-best percentage behind Djokovic (83%), Monfils (81%), Federer (81%) and Thiem (80%).

But the biggest lesson to be learned is that when playing a member of the Top 10, do everything you can to win the first point of your service game. You fall behind at your peril.

2019 Season-End Top 10: Percentage Breaking Serve From Points Score & Leader

Points Score

Top 10: Breaking Serve %

Top 10 Leader/Break %

0/40

85.2%

N. Djokovic/91%

15/40

76.5%

N. Djokovic/83%

30/40

76.5%

N. Djokovic/83%

0/30

64.4%

R. Nadal/72%

15/30

50.4%

R. Nadal/59%

0/15

42%

R. Nadal/50%

Deuce

32.9%

R. Nadal/41%

30/30

31.4%

R. Nadal/42%

15/15

28.8%

R. Nadal/37%

0/0

25.5%

R. Nadal/35%

15/0

15%

R. Nadal/22%

30/15

14.9%

R. Nadal/24%

40/30

13.1%

R. Nadal/19%

30/0

6.1%

R. Nadal/10%

40/15

4.4%

R. Nadal/8%

40/0

1.6%

R. Nadal/4%

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Sinner Opens Up To Fans In Instagram Q&A

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2020

Sinner Opens Up To Fans In Instagram Q&A

Italian reveals idol, favourite food and more

Jannik Sinner entertained his fans on Saturday with an Instagram question-and-answer session. The 18-year-old Italian, who captured the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals title in Milan, revealed his idol, how he’s been passing time while staying inside due to coronavirus concerns, whom he enjoys playing doubles with and more.

What would you want to ask the #NextGenATP senation?

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Idol while growing up?
Roger Federer

Do you have times when you are sick of the game of tennis?
No, I always want to play.

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/jannik-sinner/s0ag/overview'>Jannik Sinner</a>

Who has the best tweener?
Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios

Favourite shot?
Backhand👌

Sinner <a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/tournaments/next-gen-atp-finals/7696/overview'>Next Gen ATP Finals</a> 2019

How do you pass time?
PlayStation and physical training!

Do you like playing doubles?
Some fun doubles with Frances Tiafoe 😂😂

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/frances-tiafoe/td51/overview'>Frances Tiafoe</a>, <a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/jannik-sinner/s0ag/overview'>Jannik Sinner</a>

Favourite dish?
Pizza

So far which city is your favourite to play in?
Rome and Milan

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/jannik-sinner/s0ag/overview'>Jannik Sinner</a>

Which Grand Slam do you prefer?
US Open

What would you be if you were not a tennis player?
I don’t know 🤷‍♂️

Where do you practise skiing?
In front of my home door 😂🎿

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Did You Know?
• Sinner made his first big breakthrough at last year’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 match at the age of 17, defeating Steve Johnson. The next day, the teen practised with Federer, his idol, according to the Piatti Tennis Center Instagram page.

• At 13, Sinner moved to Riccardo Piatti’s academy. Before that, he was focussed on skiing, not tennis.


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