Internazionali BNL d'Italia: Nadal reaches his ninth final in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali BNL d'Italia: Nadal reaches his ninth final in Rome



TENNIS – Rafael Nadal swept aside Grigor Dimitrov with a double 6-2 to qualify for his ninth final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and his 40th Master 1000 final. Nadal set up a eagerly-awaited final against Novak Djokovic. The final that everyone wanted. Diego Sampaolo


Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

Nadal broke serve to love for 1-0 when Dimitrov hit his backhand into the net and backed up his break holding serve in the second game to 15. In the first two games Nadal won 8 points to 1. Dimitrov held serve in the third game for 1-2.

Nadal won four consecutive points on serve for 4-2 before breaking serve for the second time in the match in the seventh game to pull away to 5-2 after 28 minutes. Nadal rallied from 0-15 to win four consecutive points closing out the first set in 33 minutes with 6-2. Nadal played a perfect first set in which he won 80 percent of his first serve points. Dimitrov made too many unforced errors

The start of the second set was very similar to the first set as Nadal broke serve to go up 1-0 in the opening game of the second set. Nadal faced a tougher challenge in the second game when he saved two break-back points.

Dimitrov held serve to win the third game for 1-2. Nadal backed up his opening break in the fourth game which came down to deuce before getting another break to pull away to 4-1 in the fifth game where Dimitrov committed an unforced error on his forehand. At 1-5 Dimitrov served to stay in the match and was able to fend off the first match point for 2-5.

In the eighth game Nadal made three unforced errors and faced the third break point of the match but he failed to convert it as he made an error with his backhand.

Nadal sealed the win with a forehand winner to set up a blockbuster final against Novak Djokovic who edged Milos Raonic in the afternoon.

Nadal won 73 percent of second serve points to win the fifth head-to-head match against Dimitrov but it was the first time that the Mallorcan star won in straight sets. On the contrary Dimitrov committed 32 unforced errors

There are good days and bad days. Sometimes you have the right feeling and sometimes you don’t. I started the match in a perfect way. In the second set he made more mistakes than usual. I played a solid match with my backhand. Yesterday I played a good match and today was a good confirmation that I play better, that the forehand starts to fly again, as well as the top spins. It was a warmer day and that made the ball a little bit quicker. The first two matches I played here there was a lot of wind. It is true that I prefer daytime but the feeling tonight was good. Against Simon it was very cold and tonight the feeling was different.”

After three tough three-set battles against Giles Simon, Mikhail Youzhny and Andy Murray, Nadal won a one-sided match a comfortable night in which he was never under threat. He was too strong for Dimitrov who reached his first Master 1000 semifinal yesterday on his 23rd birthday. The young Bulgarian, who reached his first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open, will have other chances in the future starting from the Roland Garros.

It will be the 41th head-to.head match between Nadal and Djokovic. The Spaniard leads 22-18 in their previous 40 matches. Djokovic beat Nadal in the 2011 final in Rome but the Mallorcan beat the Serb three times in their four Rome matches.

Djokovic always plays unbelievable. He is a complete player and has all the shots. If I want to have chances to win, I have to play my best tennis and be aggressive. I twill be a very tough match.

Asked what he thinks about the new generation of players,” Nadal said:

It’s normal that the younger players play better. It isn’t normal what has happened during the last 5 or 6 years with the same players winning all the most tournaments If you look at the history of our sport, the younger generation is always pushing. Dimitrov Raonic and Nishikori are very good players and they are young, not 18 or 19 like me and Djokovic when we started to be there but things are changing a bit. There are no more players of 18 or 19 starting to be at the top. It seems that players achieve their best a little bit later. They are the new generation who will win the most important tournaments in the next 5-6 years. It’s a normal thing, we don’t want to be here forever”, said Nadal


Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory



Image via

It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.


The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.

With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.

It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.

“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),
” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.

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Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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