Russia aims at winning inaugural ATP Cup title - UBITENNIS
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Russia aims at winning inaugural ATP Cup title

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Danil Medvedev is practising in Perth ahead of with the rest of the Russian team ahead of his debut in the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup against Italy’s Fabio Fognini on 3 January.

Russia is one of the strongest contenders for the ATP Cup title, as it features two players (Medvedev and Karen Khachanov) in the top 20. Russia has been drawn in a tough Group D against the United States, Italy and Norway.

Medvedev is aiming at his first Grand Slam title at this year’s Australian Open after losing an epic five-set US Open final against Rafael Nadal. The 23-year-old Russian player started his successful 2019 season by reaching the final in Brisbane. He lost to Novak Djokovic in a 3-hour and 15-minute fourth round battle at the Australian Open.

The young Russian star won his first title of last season in Sofia before reaching the semifinal in Rotterdam, Monte-Carlo and the final in Barcelona. He started the grass season with a semifinal at Queen’s before losing in the third round at Wimbledon.

He reached six consecutive finals during a highly successful hard-court season. He lost to Nick Kyrgios in the Washington final before suffering another defeat against Rafael Nadal in the Montreal Masters 1000 final. Mevdedev clinched two consecutive Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai and became the first Russian Grand Slam finalist since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open and the highest-ranked Russian player since number 4 Nikolay Davydenko in 2008.

“Being in a Grand Slam makes you confident for the upcoming significant tournaments because you know you are capable of achieving that. Before the US Open, my best result was the fourth round and I was not sure about my abilities at Majors and in the best-of five encounters. I know it is possible to compete for the titles there but it is not granted that you have to win a Major in your career. I am going to do my best”, said Medvedev.  

 In the second singles match Karen Khachanov will face Stefano Travaglia before the final doubles match.

“Even without Matteo Berrettini, Italy still has a strong team. It is crucial to make a good start. We will prepare well and do our best on the court. You never know what is going to happen and you have to be ready. Everyone can play tennis and all teams are dangerous. That’s why we have to give our 100%. That’s what I can promise and the results should come. We don’t really have a good record playing with each other. This is the opportunity to change that at the beginning of the new season. I think Danil and I have different styles of play and sometimes you just don’t fit each other, but we could play the doubles if necessary”, said Khachanov.

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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Hubert Hurkacz beats Alexander Zverev to reach the second final of his career in Halle

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Hubert Hurkacz moved past this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in 1 hour and 33 minutes to reach the second final of his career at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Hurkacz will be aiming to win the second title of his career at this tournament two years after his triumph. 

Hurkacz fired 17 aces and saved all four break points he faced in the first game of the opening set to clinch his fifth top 10 win on grass. The Pole won 81% of his first serve points. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. Hurkacz his only break in the third game of the second set to win the second set 6-4. 

“I really love grass. The game suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible. It brings so much joy to the players”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his head-to-head matches against Zverev. The Polish player will aim to clinch the ninth ATP Tour title of his career in his 11th ATP Tour final. 

Hurkacz won the Halle tournament in 2022 and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2021. 

Zverev holds a record of 37 wins to 11 defeats this season. 

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