Tennis News

From around the world

Mektic/Pavic Record 60th Match Win In 2021, Begin Nitto ATP Finals Bid

  • Posted: Nov 14, 2021

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic started their Green Group campaign at the Nitto ATP Finals with their 60th match win of the season on Sunday.

The Croatians, who have already finished at year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings, defeated eighth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau 6-4, 6-4 in 77 minutes at the Pala Alpitour.

In an outstanding season, 34-year-old Mektic and 28-year-old Pavic have captured nine tour-level trophies, including at Wimbledon (d. Granollers/Zeballos), the Tokyo Olympics gold medal (d. Cilic/Dodig) and three ATP Masters 1000s: the Miami Open presented by Itau and Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Evans/N. Skupski both times), and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (d. Ram/Salisbury).

Following their win on Sunday, Mektic and Pavic were presented the year-end No. 1 doubles trophy by ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi in an on-court ceremony.


Tecau came under pressure immediately, losing his serve when he missed a half volley at the net in the first game, but the Romanian recovered from 15/40 with four straight points at 1-3. Pavic calmly closed out the 35-minute opener with a hold to love in a serve-dominated performance, with the Croatians striking four aces and winning 90 per cent of their first-service points overall.

The second set turned in favour of Mektic and Pavic when Krawietz hit a second double fault on the deciding point at 2-2. It proved to be decisive, as Mektic later closed out the match with an ace.

Krawietz and Tecau are now 28-14 on the season. Six years ago, Tecau did not drop a set en route to 2015 Nitto ATP Finals trophy with Jean-Julien Rojer to the season as the World No. 1 team.

Fourth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, and sixth seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek also feature in the Green Group at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

Source link

Turin's Sonego Reveals 'Goal For The Rest Of My Life: Playing For My People'

  • Posted: Nov 14, 2021

The eight singles players and 16 doubles competitors at the Nitto ATP Finals will get to know Turin plenty well this week during the event’s first edition in the city. But nobody on the ATP Tour knows Turin better than Lorenzo Sonego, who still lives there today.

The Italian is proud of his hometown, from its restaurants and scenery to museums and galleries.

“The centre is nice. The Piazza Vittorio is a big place for the young people and for all the people. Piazza Vittorio and Piazza Castello are two unbelievable places,” Sonego told “In Turin there is the Po River — the big river in Italy — and small buildings. It’s the Po River, the big river in Italy.

“It’s really nice if you want to walk on the river and there are many restaurants there that are really nice.”

You cannot go anywhere in Turin without seeing some sort of signage promoting the Nitto ATP Finals. There is a fan village in Piazza San Carlo with a tennis court and various booths. There is also a giant billboard of Matteo Berrettini looking over the twin churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo Borromeo — featuring Baroque-style architecture — in the historic city square.

“The atmosphere is really cool,” Sonego said. “You can find everything in Turin.”

There are stores and restaurants that line both sides of the cobblestone streets, and people are constantly milling about throughout the day. But one thing sticks out to Sonego.

“There are so many museums. It’s good for the heart in general,” Sonego said. “There is the Museo Egizio, the Egyptian Museum, which is really nice. I was there a few months ago, it was really cool and really nice.

“They have different parts of Egyptian history. I don’t like museums, but I like this museum because it’s the most important in Turin and in Italy.”

According to the 26-year-old, Turin is “a big city, but not too big”. And of course, he loves the food.

“In Italy, all the food is really good,” Sonego said. “In the south there is pizza, in the north there is ham and salami. The cheese is really good, the pasta is good. All the food in Turin is amazing.”


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lorenzo Sonego (@lorenzosonego)

Above all, Sonego is thrilled that the Nitto ATP Finals is now in the city, showcasing it to the world. This year’s Cagliari champion is a huge Torino F.C. fan and fittingly, the club’s stadium, Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, is right next to the Pala Alpitour, which is the home of the season finale.

The venue is home to various events throughout the entertainment industry, from basketball and ice hockey to music concerts, which Sonego calls “really cool”.

“Now it has the [Nitto] ATP Finals and that is the best thing. It is for sure good motivation. It’s really important for me, because it’s the best tournament in the world and now it is in my city,” Sonego said. “For me, it’s really emotional. That is my goal for the rest of my life: playing in Turin with my people, with my fans and enjoying this tournament because it’s the best in the world.”

Source link

Preview: Will Hubi Borrow Novak's Playbook For Medvedev Battle?

  • Posted: Nov 14, 2021

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev has every reason to feel like the big man on campus this week at the Nitto ATP Finals following his unbeaten run to last year’s title at The O2, which brought to an end the tournament’s 12-year stay in London.

So expect the lanky Russian – who has been likened to an on-court octopus with arms and legs flailing far and wide as part of his imposing defense – to be high on confidence when he takes on Polish debutant Hubert Hurkacz in the Day 1 day session Sunday at the Pala Alpitour.

The venue and city may be different – Turin, Italy, which becomes the 15th host city of the season finale – but the fundamentals of the Russian’s prowess on indoor hard court remain the same. Last year Medvedev became the first player to beat the world’s Top 3-ranked players (Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem) en route to the title, which followed his run to the Rolex Paris Masters crown.

Medvedev, who was denied a successful title defense by Djokovic in last Sunday’s Bercy final, is looking to become the first back-to-back Nitto ATP Finals champion since the Serb won four straight between 2012-15.

This year’s US Open champion came into the final weeks of last season low on confidence but his victories in Paris and London rejuvenated him heading into 2021, a year in which he has made the World No. 2 spot his own.

“We had the pandemic when we didn’t play for a long time [in 2020 and] I had some problems with my body. So coming back was not easy, but these two tournaments last year brought back my confidence,” Medvedev said. “It was enough for all this year, knowing that I could beat the best players in the world.”

Hurkacz, who last week pushed Djokovic to a third-set tie-break in the semi-finals, may have learned something from the World No. 1’s winning tactics in the Paris final against the deep-court-returning Russian.


How To Watch


Throwing out his losing playbook from the US Open final, Djokovic attempted 39 serve/volley plays against Medvedev in the Rolex Paris Masters final in a tactical masterclass. He won 19 of 22 serve/volley points. (He served a fault on the other 17 would-be serve/volley attempts.)

Despite the data, Hurkacz tells that he doesn’t think serve and volley is a panacea when trying to blunt Medvedev’s return game, but also doesn’t rule out coming in behind his thundering serve. “Daniil’s an amazing player who stands back on the return to take full cuts and he really places the ball in tricky spots. So sometimes maybe you can serve and volley, but as well he can navigate that ball and try to pass you up there off the first shot.”

The players’ two career ATP Head2Head meetings came this year and both have gone the distance. Hurkacz beat Medvedev in five sets in the Wimbledon fourth round before the Russian got his revenge in Toronto with a third-set tie-break victory.

Zverev v Berrettini

In the evening match, Italian Matteo Berrettini will ride raucous support from passionate home fans into battle with 2018 finale champion Alexander Zverev, who in making his fifth consecutive appearance, has the most experience at the tournament of any player other than Novak Djokovic.

“I feel the pressure, but it’s a good pressure. It’s so nice to be here,” Berrettini said. “I know that the crowd is going to be on my side, and I really cannot wait to step on the court.”

Zverev leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-1, including their lone hard-court meeting (Shanghai 2019) and their lone 2021 meeting (in the three-set Madrid final). The German World No. 3 has enjoyed another strong season and brings an equal-tour-leading 55 match wins into the tournament.

“I have played good tennis this year,” said Zverev. “I’ve won five titles and I’m the only player who has won multiple [ATP] Masters [1000 titles] this year. It comes with good tennis, also, at the Olympics, I won a gold medal. I am looking forward to this tournament. I didn’t come here just as a participant, but I want to win matches and do well here.”

In 2021, the 24-year-old won the Tokyo Olympics gold medal (d. Khachanov), two ATP Masters 1000 titles at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Berrettini) and Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Rublev), plus two ATP 500 crowns: the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco (d. Tsitsipas) and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna (d. Tiafoe).

“Matteo is a superstar here, everyone likes him,” Zverev said. “I look forward to the match, we are among the best players in the world so there are no easy matches. I definitely look forward to that match and the energy on Sunday.”


Mektic/Pavic Begin Quest For Perfect End To Season
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic fittingly have the honour of kicking off the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals when they confront Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the first match of the tournament. They Croatians, who have already clinched year-end No. 1 after winning nine titles, are looking to round out their explosive first season together with their 10th title of the year. They lead Krawietz and Tecau 2-0 in meetings this year.

In the evening session, Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (24-11, 2 titles in 2021) will look to repeat their first-round win over Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek (20-11, 1 title) in Montreal during the summer.

CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am

[1] N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) vs [8] K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) 

Not Before 2:00 pm
[2] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs [7] H. Hurkacz (POL) 

Not Before 6:30 pm
[4] M. Granollers (ESP) / H. Zeballos (ARG) vs [6] I. Dodig (CRO) / F. Polasek (SVK) 

Not Before 9:00 pm
[3] A. Zverev (GER) vs [6] M. Berrettini (ITA) 

Source link

Alcaraz: ‘It Is The Best Way To Finish The Year’

  • Posted: Nov 14, 2021

After clinching the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals title on Saturday, Carlos Alcaraz was in a reflective mood as he looked back on his successful 2021 season with a smile on his face.

The 18-year-old overcame Sebastian Korda in the final at the 21-and-under event in Milan to round off a year that has seen him rise from No. 141 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to a current career-high No. 32.

“I feeling amazing,” Alcaraz said after triumphing 4-3(5), 4-2, 4-2 in the championship match. “It feels good to end the year in the best way possible. Playing great matches against great players. It is the best way to finish the year.”

Under the guidance of coach and former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz has made headlines in 2021. The Spaniard captured his first tour-level title in Umag in July and enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals at the US Open.

While Alcaraz, who was the top seed in Milan, views those moments as high points, he believes other experiences he has had on Tour this season provided the crucial building blocks for his success.

“It has been a really good season for me,” Alcaraz said. “I am really happy about the moments I have experienced. Beating Stefanos [Tsitsipas] at the US Open, reaching the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam and winning my first ATP [Tour title].

“But I think this would not have been possible without the experience I gained in Madrid, playing against Rafa [Nadal]. In Acapulco, playing against [Alexander] Zverev. There are a lot of tournament matches that gave me a lot of experience to make me more mature so soon.”

Alcaraz dropped just one set en route to the title in Milan as he played aggressively in the big points to defeat stiff opposition at the Allianz Cloud. The 18-year-old admitted that it is an area of his game he has been focused on and will look to continue to develop.

“It is something I am working on,” Alcaraz said. “Juan Carlos told me that in the tough moments you have to play aggressively and you have to go for it and that is what I do. I am working on that to be calm in the tough moments, that is the key to winning the tough points. You have to go for it.”

Did You Know?
Alcaraz is the youngest player to earn 32 tour-level victories in a year since Andrei Medvedev, 18, went 32-11 in 1992.

Source link

Scouting Report: Djokovic Chases History, Medvedev Pursues Title Defence In Turin

  • Posted: Nov 14, 2021

The season’s top eight singles players and doubles combinations are all set for the first Nitto ATP Finals to be held in Turin. Top seed Novak Djokovic chases another slice of history while second seed Daniil Medvedev looks to defend the trophy he won in London last year. looks at what you should watch for this week.


1) Djokovic Eyes Federer’s Mark: Djokovic has already secured a record-breaking seventh year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings en route to his fifth title of the season at the Rolex Paris Masters, where he avenged his US Open final defeat to Medvedev. The 34-year-old surpassed Roger Federer’s record 311 weeks at World No. 1 in March, and notched a record-equalling 20th major with his third Grand Slam triumph of the season at Wimbledon (d. Berrettini).

Now the Serbian has his sights set on levelling Federer’s record six Nitto ATP Finals titles. Five times the Serbian has clinched the season finale – in 2008 in Shanghai and 2012-2015 in London. He holds a 38-16 record at the event.

Djokovic Khaby Lame
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
2) Medvedev Bids To Defend Crown: After an inauspicious debut at The O2 in 2019, in which he went 0-3 in the group stage, Medvedev went on a tear last year as he defeated five straight Top 10 opponents for the Nitto ATP Finals trophy. Victories over No. 1 Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Dominic Thiem made the Russian the first man to defeat the world’s top three players in the tournament’s history.

The 25-year-old, who rose to a career-high No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings with victory in Marseille (d. Herbert) in March, won the ATP Cup with Russia, and added further titles in Mallorca and Toronto before he lifted his maiden major trophy at the US Open (d. Djokovic). He holds a 5-3 record at the event.

3) Zverev Looks To Cap Golden Year: Alexander Zverev boasts more match wins than any of his peers since Wimbledon (28-2), picking up the Tokyo Olympics gold medal, as well as a Masters 1000 trophy in Cincinnati (d. Rublev) and an ATP 500 in Vienna (d. Tiafoe) to add to his pair of trophies from earlier in the season in Madrid (d. Berrettini) and Acapulco (d. Tsitsipas).

Three years ago in London, the German became the youngest Nitto ATP Finals champion since Djokovic a decade earlier, defeating Federer and the Serbian back-to-back for the trophy. Zverev is the only player to own wins against each of the ‘Big Three’ at the season finale, where he holds an 8-7 record.

4) Tsitsipas Ready To Rebound: Stefanos Tsitsipas secured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy at Monte Carlo, added another title on clay in Lyon and reached his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic) in June. But after back-to-back Masters 1000 semi-finals in Toronto and Cincinnati in August, the Greek has endured somewhat of a lean spell and is focussed on a return to form at an event he has triumphed at before.

The World No. 4, who owns a 5-3 record at the Nitto ATP Finals, captured the trophy on debut two years ago with victory over Thiem in the final. He went 1-2 in the group stage last year.

Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
5) Rublev Looks For Strong Finish: Making his second appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, Andrey Rublev looks to reach the knockout stage for the first time. The Russian went 1-2 in group play last year before he started this season on song as went unbeaten in singles in Russia’s ATP Cup triumph in Melbourne.

The 24-year-old picked up his eighth career title in Rotterdam in March and finished runner-up in two ATP Masters 1000 final in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati this year, as well as on grass in Halle. Unbeaten in singles and doubles in Europe’s Laver Cup victory, he will look to rediscover his best in Turin after going 1-3 indoors leading in.

6) Home Hopes High For Berrettini: The Italian has qualified for the season finale once before, in 2019, when he finished 1-2 in the group stage in London. With the shift to Turin on the back of his best season, Matteo Berrettini is bidding to finish 2021 on a high before a home crowd at the Pala Alpitour.

The 25-year-old made his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic) and collected two titles in Belgrade (d. Karatsev) and at the Queen’s Club (d. Norrie) this season. In addition to their Wimbledon showdown, Djokovic defeated Berrettini in four sets in the last three majors of the season (Roland Garros quarter-finals and US Open quarter-finals).

Matteo Berrettini
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
7) Hurkacz Flies Flag For Poland: The last man to stamp his ticket to Turin, Hubert Hurkacz did so with a run to the semi-finals of the Rolex Paris Masters. He is the second debutant in the field for this year’s Nitto ATP Finals and becomes the second Polish player to qualify after 1976 runner-up Wojtek Fibak.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a breakout season, in which he claimed his first Masters 1000 trophy in Miami (d. Sinner) and reached his first major semi-final at Wimbledon with wins over second seed Medvedev and eight-time champion Federer. He also owns titles from Delray Beach and Metz this season.

8) Ruud On A Roll: One of two debutants in the field, Casper Ruud became the first Norwegian to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals with his run to the quarter-finals at the Rolex Paris Masters. The 22-year-old cracked the Top 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in August following three straight titles in as many weeks on clay in Bastad (d. Coria), Gstaad (d. Gaston) and Kitzbuhel (d. Martinez).

Further trophies in Geneva (d. Shapovalov) and San Diego (d. Norrie) make him one of only three players – alongside Djokovic and Zverev – with five titles to their name this season. Ruud reached the fourth round at a major for the first time at the Australian Open. 

9) Mektic/Pavic Set The Benchmark: Croatian duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have already wrapped up the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Doubles Team Ranking after a standout season and will be the team to beat in Turin. The top seeds captured nine-tour level titles in 2021, including Wimbledon (d. Granollers/Zeballos), a Tokyo Olympics gold medal (d. Cilic/Dodig) and Masters 1000 events in Miami, Monte Carlo (d. Evans/N. Skupski in both), and Rome (d. Ram/Salisbury).

Pavic finished No. 1 alongside Bruno Soares last year (as well as in 2018 with Oliver Marach), while Mektic won the season finale with Dutchman Wesley Koolhof in 2020.

Nikola Pavic and Mate Pavic at Nitto ATP Finals media day in Turin.
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
10) Former Champs Back In Doubles Fray: Other than Mektic, four other players from the field in Turin have triumphed at the Nitto ATP Finals before. Third-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut prevailed in London two years ago (d. Klaasen/Venus) after finishing runner-up the year before. Romanian Horia Tecau — who is competing this edition with German Kevin Krawietz — was victorious in 2015 with Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer (d. Bopanna/Mergea), and Spain’s Marcel Granollers – seeded fourth with Argentine Horacio Zeballos this year – won nine years ago alongside countryman Marc Lopez (d. Bhupathi/Bopanna).

Herbert and Mahut – who won their second Roland Garros title before their third Queen’s Club title in June – have qualified for the sixth straight year. Krawietz and Tecau joined forces this year when Krawietz’s normal partner, Andreas Mies, got hurt. Granollers and Zeballos join the field as a team for the second straight year, after winning two Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Cincinnati. Last year, they reached the semi-finals in London.

Source link

Korda On Alcaraz: 'He's Definitely Better Than His Ranking'

  • Posted: Nov 14, 2021

Sebastian Korda was full of praise for Carlos Alcaraz after the 18-year-old Spaniard captured the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals trophy on Saturday.

“Carlos played incredibly well,” said Korda, after losing 4-3(5), 4-2, 4-2 in the 21-and-under final in Milan. “He’s definitely playing a lot better than his [FedEx ATP] Ranking and he won’t be in that spot for long.”

Korda won four straight matches – against Hugo Gaston, Sebastian Baez, Lorenzo Musetti and Brandon Nakashima – en route to the title match, but World No. 32 Alcaraz proved to be too strong in key moments at the Allianz Cloud.

“I had some chances in the first set, [but] didn’t take them, and that’s just kind of how the match went,” said Korda. “He was just playing some really good tennis, clutch on the Deuce points.

“But he was just playing incredibly well in the tight moments, especially in the tie-break. I had a lot of chances, some of the things didn’t go my way, break points in the first [set], an easy volley. But it was still a great match from him and sometimes there’s nothing I could really do.”

The 21-year-old American enjoyed a career-best season, including a first ATP Tour title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma (d. Cecchinato) and a breakthrough into the Top 40.

Reflecting on his time in Milan, Korda said, “It was a great experience for me. I’m going to take a lot of things from the matches and just go back to work, improve myself and anything that I can.

“Overall, I’m still very happy. I had a great week, I had a great season and unfortunately it didn’t happen today, but [I will] go back to work and try to improve.”

Source link

Alcaraz Soars To Milan Title

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2021

Carlos Alcaraz finished his breakthrough 2021 season in style Saturday at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, downing Sebastian Korda 4-3(5), 4-2, 4-2 to win the title in Milan.

The 18-year-old is the first Spaniard to triumph at the 21-and-under event and is the youngest player to earn 32 tour-level victories in a year since Andrei Medvedev, 18, went 32-11 in 1992.

In a high-quality match, Alcaraz hammered his groundstrokes with his usual deadly precision, stepping inside the baseline to target Korda’s backhand as he pinned the American back. He broke twice and fired 15 winners to secure victory after 84 minutes.

“It is amazing,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “To be able to win this tournament means a lot to me. I am so excited right now and emotional. I was very, very nervous at the start. I had to be calm to save the break points. I know Korda is serving very well, so I had to play my best in those moments.”

The top seed was in ruthless form at the Allianz Cloud throughout the tournament, dropping just one set en route to the title as he dispatched Holger Rune, Brandon Nakashima and Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the round-robin stage, before cruising past Argentine Sebastian Baez in the last four.

“It went 0/30 on my serve [when serving for the match],” Alcaraz added. “So I had to be focused in that moment and I had to stay calm. It was really, really tough.”

After beginning the year at No. 141 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Alcaraz has soared to a current career-high No. 32 under the guidance of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero. In a standout season, the 18-year-old clinched his maiden tour-level title in Umag and upset World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas as he reached the quarter-finals at the US Open.

Alcaraz also advanced to tour-level semi-finals in Marbella, Winston-Salem and Vienna, where he defeated World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini. He showcased the experience he has gained this season against Korda, remaining focused in front of a lively crowd in Italy to become the fourth Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion, joining Hyeon Chung, Tsitsipas and Jannik Sinner.

In a tight first set, Korda quickly found his rhythm, striking his flat groundstrokes with great depth. But the American was unable to convert any of the five break points he had as Alcaraz showed his fighting skills to force a tie-break. From 4/5 in the tie-break, Alcaraz won both points on Korda’s serve as he outmanoeuvred the 21-year-old, before sealing the set with a forehand volley winner.

Alcaraz continued to play aggressively in the second set as he closed the net effectively to further impose himself on Korda. The Spaniard did not face a break point in the second set, sealing it with one of the four aces he hit in the match. Fuelled by momentum, Alcaraz put his foot down in the third set, forcing Korda into mistakes with his depth to secure the title. 

Korda, who also earned a perfect 3-0 round-robin record in Milan, captured his first tour-level title in Parma in May and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in July. The World No. 39 defeated countryman Brandon Nakashima in five sets in the semi-final to become the first American to advance to the championship match at the 21-and-under event.

Source link

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Tommy Paul

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2021

Tommy Paul saved his best result of the season for its final week as he triumphed at the Stockholm Open.

A semi-finalist at the Emilia-Romagna Open in May, Paul made the last 16 at the BNP Paribas Open with a win over Andrey Rublev. Unseeded in Stockholm, the 24-year-old American rose to the occasion in his first final, outlasting defending champion Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. sat down with the World No. 52 right after he captured his maiden title in Stockholm to find out more about the significance of this milestone achievement for Paul.

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
Everything. I’ve been working very, very hard. The first one obviously means the most and I’ll remember this one the most but hopefully I’ll have many more. It just motivates me to try to go out and try to get more now.

You’ve beaten Leo Borg, Taylor Fritz, Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe this week, often saying you’re “playing some of your best tennis”. What’s been the key or the difference this week?
I’ve played very good matches. I think it’s been because I’ve had a lot of matches in a row in the past seven weeks, gaining confidence every week, and then also the vibes in Stockholm are amazing. I’m just having a lot of fun out on court, a lot of fun.

Of all the things you’ve achieved this year — Top 50 breakthrough, first Top 5 win and now your first ATP Tour title — what will encourage you to push even harder in the 2022 season?
I think, honestly, I don’t need too much extra motivation. I’m a very motivated guy, even if I’m, like, quietly motivated. I know my goals and I’m pretty excited to accomplish them and hopefully keep accomplishing them.

Please can you talk about the influence of Brad Stine, who you’ve known since the age of 14-15, and your team in general?
Brad has been a big influence, especially. He’s told me these things for two, maybe three years, about being more aggressive and getting to the net, but I think I really started putting it to work and putting it into the match play the past four months, and it’s been huge. I’ve been playing a lot better and I’m going to continue to play like that and should probably listen to him a bit more. And then my team in general, I just have good people around me, I think that’s very important for any player and any team. Good people around me push me in the right direction and a lot of people at home, a lot of people that aren’t even tennis involved, they support me and motivate me. It’s good to have a good team around you.

After a couple of significant injuries in the past, what sacrifices have you made off-court to help you perform better as a tennis player?
It’s a good question. There’s endless answers to this. Every day you have a million decisions that you have to make, and I think the best thing I’ve done this year is before I make any decision, I ask myself if this is best for my tennis. And that’s what I’ve been doing. So in some ways you can call that sacrifice.

At 24, do you feel you’re beginning to enter the peak years of your career?
I hope not, man. I hope my peak years are around 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 … [laughing]. I feel like I’m starting to know my game better and executing my play style better and I hope I have a long peak, you know? A long peak career.

On your bio it states, “Short-term goals are to improve your net game and win your first ATP Tour title.” What are your next goals going to be?
My first ATP title was definitely my number one goal this year, and I actually got it at the last tournament of the year, just about as late as you can get it. I’m happy with that, but I want to win more. I want to win a lot more. And it’s a lot more fun when you’re winning matches than when you’re losing matches. I definitely want to do that. My next goals are to win bigger titles. Win more 250s, 500s. I just want to play big matches against my friends deep in tournaments.

Could you take a moment to acknowledge some of the key figures in your life and tennis-playing career who have helped you to reach this milestone?
Wow, there’s a lot of people. My mom. Brad, obviously. Diego Moyano, he was my coach for the longest time, taught me what being a professional was – I didn’t really listen too well, but he told it to me. My friend TJ Pura took me out of a couple of dark times in my life and just a lot of friends around me, always supporting me. Even the other Americans, Frances [Tiafoe], [Taylor] Fritz, Reilly [Opelka], they’ve all been very supportive and always try to help me out when they can. It’s endless, there’s a lot of people, my trainers and everything.

What do you consider to be your biggest passion outside of tennis and can you tell us a little bit about that interest?
I’m just a sports fan all round. I love sports. When I say “all round”, I’m not huge into soccer, not huge into baseball – I like watching play-off baseball. But basketball, I will play basketball any day, I will watch basketball every day. I like being outside, like watching football, college basketball, any sports, man, I love it.

This is a milestone moment in your career. How will you celebrate this victory?
I don’t know, man, that’s a tough question. After being in Stockholm, I’m ready to go home. Obviously I’m super happy to be here and win my first title here, but I am ready to go home. I’ve been away from home for a long time and I’m going to go on a little vacation when I get back, so pumped to relax and do that.

Source link

Next Gen ATP E-Series Reaches Conclusion In Milan

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2021

The 2021 NextGenATP E-Series came to a conclusion on Saturday in Milan with the best eight eSports players competing on Tennis World Tour 2.

Organised by Mkers, ATP and FIT, 128 players have competed since June with virtual racquets in six online tournament stages, with the top eight qualifying for the final event at the Allianz Cloud.

On the event, managing director and board member of Mkers, Paolo Cisaria said: “For the first time, representative institutions such as ATP and FIT decide to enter the esports world. This important collaboration gives Mkers a further step towards the internationalisation of the group. The 2021 Next Gen ATP E-Series is another step towards the credibility and importance of esports and the virtual tennis world.”

In an exciting final, second seed Isniper, who was playing with Juan Martin del Portro, overcame fourth seed IdusMartias, who was also controlling Del Portro, 4-3(5), 4-3(6) to triumph.

“It feels great to win,” Lorenzo Cioffi said, who uses the handle Isniper. “Especially after playing online, it was great to play here. I practised two hours a day into the lead up to the event, focusing on a few things that I needed to work on.”

Source link

Watch Djokovic & Co. #TakeOverTorino

  • Posted: Nov 13, 2021

Local Italians around the Piazza San Carlo in Turin received an unforgettable surprise on Friday morning.

The singles competitors at the Nitto ATP Finals — Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini, Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud — walked by to take their official group photo near the Piazza ahead of the season finale.

“Tennis has been booming on the men’s side in Italy, with Matteo, [Fabio] Fognini and [Jannik] Sinner in the past couple of years,” Djokovic said. “There is a good vibe in the city and everyone looks forward to supporting the tournament, and Matteo in particular. Everyone here wants to finish off the year in the best possible way.”

The stars said in unison “Takeover Torino!” as they departed the player hotel for the Piazza. It did not take long for locals to realise who was passing by.

Several players had fans shout their names en route, and one man even told Djokovic, “I need a coach for my next tournament!”, eliciting a laugh from the World No. 1.

Djokovic, who will chase a record-tying sixth Nitto ATP Finals title from 14-21 November at the Pala Alpitour, told Hurkacz and Tsitsipas during their walk that he competed in Turin when he was 15.

Asked for advice he would give Hurkacz — who was wearing a tan turtleneck sweater with a dark-coloured blazer over it — on his tournament debut, the Serbian quickly said he might need advice from the Pole.

“He already is setting a trend here with his fashion statement today!” Djokovic said.

With dozens of fans snapping pictures and taking videos on their phones, the eight players walked up and down a path to capture the photo, before returning to the hotel to get transport to the venue for media day.

Photos below: Getty Images for ATP

Nitto ATP Finals

Daniil Medvedev

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Hubert Hurkacz and Novak Djokovic

Andrey Rublev

.videoWrapper {
position: relative;
padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */
padding-top: 25px;
height: 0;
.videoWrapper iframe {
position: absolute;
top: 0;
left: 0;
width: 100%;
height: 100%;

Source link