The Nitto ATP Finals in Turin start the countdown with the official press conference - UBITENNIS
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The Nitto ATP Finals in Turin start the countdown with the official press conference

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The countdown to the 2021 ATP Finals in Turin has begun. The best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams will take part in the eigh-day tournament to be held from 14 to 21 November 2021 at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. 

 

The Turin tournament was officially presented to the Italian media in a press conference held at the headquarter of Intesa San Paolo, the Host Partner of the ATP Finals, in Turin. The press conference was attended by ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, Italian Tennis Federation President Angelo Binaghi and Turin Major Chiara Appendino, who is a keen tennis fan. 

With less than one year to go, the press conference marked the launch of a coordinated national and international communication campaign by the City of Turin, Piedmont Region, Turin Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Turin, the ATP and the Italian Tennis Federation. The ticket sale has just start. Spectators and tourists will be able to follow matches and experience throughout the city. Ticketing promotion will be focused on attracting younger generations and schools closer to tennis.

“I started working as ATP President last year and I was behing the scenes as a Board Member of the ATP, when the cities presented their bid to host this event. Turin showed passion enthusiasm and this made the difference. Italy has hosted the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for many years and has shown that this country is able to host high-quality events. We want to attract a lot of fans in the next years. We started this year with the pandemic, but I am optimistic that we will overcome this crisis and the ATP Finals will be a very successful event. Italian players are reaching a very good level and it’s a very important factor for the future success of the ATP Finals“, said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

Launching the countdown to the tournament is an exciting milestone, and we look forward to five years of close collaboration with all event partners, to build upon the growth of our season finale. We are very ambitious. We have set a very high standard in 12 years when London hosted the ATP Finals from 2009 to 2020. The event attracted more than 3 million spectators in 12 years. I am confident that Turin, Piedmont and Italy will make a great job. As a former player my dream was to qualify for the ATP Finals, but I have never managed to fulfil this goal, but I am happy that I will take part at this tournament as ATP President. As Italian, I am happy that Italy will host the Finals. The tournament has been hosted in cities around the world. I am very proud. We will do a great job.

We thank our sponsors Nitto, Emirates, FedEx, Rolex and Dunlop. Without their support it would not be possible to host this tournament. We have one billion of fans in five continents. We have to do a lot of work, but this tournament is a great opportunity to promote our sport. We hope to improve the distribution of this event through the media and show a high-level tournament to our fans. The Finals are the most important tournament for the ATP, as this tournament crowns the best player of the season. We hope that we will be back to normal and return to our traditional ATP Race to Turin, that includes only the results from 1 January 2021. We are confident that we will have a normal calendar and host the clay tournaments in their traditional dates”.

It has been two years since Turin bid to host the Nitto ATP Finals from 2021 to 2025 after prevailing over forty foreign cities. 

“We would not have done it without the passion and drive of the region, in particular the Mayor of Turin Chiara Apendino, and without the support of the Government, the Piedmont Region and our brand partners. The ATP Finals are the most important indoor tournament in the world. To win the bid to host the ATP Finals was like climbing the Mount Everest. The success of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia was the recognition of years of work and we continued to set higher goals. We have built a great team with the Italian Government, the Italian region, the City of Turin and our sponsors and our goal is to host a great edition in 2021. Our goal is to make 15000 spectators true tennis fans. We also want to show our recognition to the local partners, who have shown their support”, said Angelo Binaghi. 

Turin is aiming its long tradition in hosting big sport events that started in 2006 with the Winter Olympic Games. 

“I feel emotional. When we presented our bid, we had only a very small chance to win it, but we have never given up and we continued working hard as a team. Without the support of our local parners, we would have never managed to win the bid. We will welcome the best players in the world and we want to stage a great event. Turin has a long tradition of sport, and thanks to an extraordinary team effort, we are delighted to bring the Nitto ATP Finals to our city. We look to the next five years with determination, confident in the knowledge the event that will have a positive economic impact to our territory and strenthen the image of Turin all over the world”, said Chiara Appendino.

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Do Your Players Understand The Tennis Score System? – If They Don’t, They’ll Struggle Mentally

The more unrealistic expectations players have got, the more they are going to struggle with their thoughts and emotions.

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A frustrated coach calls. Asks for a mental tool to help “fix” their player’s mentality. But it’s not always a mental tool that is required. Often, it’s about going back to the basics. It’s about educating players about the realities of tennis. First step is getting players to know how to count. Second step is educating players about the score system. Close to every coach gets the first step done properly. The second step, not so much. And let me be the first to say, I have not been any better myself. 

 

So how do we start to educate players about the score system of tennis? 

A bold but true statement, that needs to be taken into account. “Tennis players are a bunch of losers” as Kelsey Anderson once entitled a blog post of hers. The reality is that tennis players lose a lot when playing matches. 

Craig O’Shannesy has made statistics in tennis easy to understand and digest. Craig’s work is a cornerstone in helping players with more realistic expectations. More realistic expectations equal less frustration and anger on court. 

So, let’s have a look at a key static to help educate the player you are coaching. 

Roger Federer
-103 titles
-1200+ match wins.
-20 Grand Slams
-Nearly $130 million in prize money

Undeniably one of the best tennis players to ever live. 

How many percentages of the points he has played in his professional career has he won? 

Before I knew the statistic, I guessed 70% or even 75%. After all, we are talking about Roger Federer.

I was wrong!

55%. 

Meaning that Roger Federer has lost 45 % of the points that he has played in his professional career. Almost half the points he has played. I was astonished the first time I heard this statistic! 

We are not talking about your average professional, it’s a player that has dominated the sport together with the rest of the so called “big three”. 

Talking about “the big three”. Interestingly Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the only 2 other players to equal Federer on 55 % of points won in their professional career. 

So what does this statistic mean to players?

A lot of players believe that they should be winning 8/10 points to win a match. That they have to destroy the other player. They play 3 good points and then miss an easy put-away forehand and yell “I’m sooooo bad!”. 

The reality is that if a player is only messing up on every 4th point, they are doing an unbelievable job. Tennis is a game of mistakes. No matter how hard players try they can’t avoid making mistakes. We want to minimize unforced errors but player’s thinking that they can go through a match without making mistakes and losing a lot of points is simply unrealistic. 

When a player’s internal reality is different from the reality they are faced with in matches, it will lead to frustration and anger. The frustration and anger will be termed as bad behavior and a mental problem. The mental problem is often attempted to be fixed with mental tools. Could be a physical routine or a breathing technique. While the mental tools can treat the symptom and be very helpful in acute situations, it’s important to address the cause of why the frustration and anger arises in the first place. 

From the 55% statistic on Federer how is it possible to help the players with more realistic expectations? 

Here are 2 coaching advice to reinforce to players:

“Expect to lose almost every other point even in the matches that you are winning” 

“If you can keep you opponent from winning 2 points in a row for long enough – eventually you’ll win”

Remember that unrealistic expectations lead to players experiencing frustration and anger. The better we educate players about the realities of tennis, the more realistic expectations they will have. The more realistic expectations the more focus and mental energy can be spent focusing on their gameplan and executing their shots. The more focus on executing their shots, the bigger opportunity of performing well. The better the player perform, the bigger the opportunity of winning the match. 

By Adam Blicher
Danish Sport Psychologist Consultant Adam Blicher is a member of the International Sport Mental Coach Association

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Gael Monfils Joins Forces With Former Long-Time Coach Of Dominic Thiem

Will the Frenchman return to his best form with the help of his new mentor?

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Tennis star Gael Monfils will start the 2021 season with a new team setup after confirming the appointment of a new coach.

 

The former US Open semi-finalist has paired up with the renowned Gunther Bresnik who is best known for his time spent working alongside Dominic Thiem for over a decade until their split in 2019. Thiem is now coached by Nicolas Massu. Bresnik is the former Davis Cup captain of Austria and has worked with numerous top names such as Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Boris Becker and Henri Leconte.

Monfils has been training with Bresnik during the off-season but only now has it been confirmed that the two have formed an agreement to work together. However, over the coming weeks Monfils will be guided by another Austrian. Co-coach Richard Ruckelshausen will work with the world No.11 in Australia and has been appointed as the captain of the French ATP Cup team.

“I’ve known Gaël for a long time,” Bresnik told krone.at on January 9th. “With Ernests Gulbis and Stefan Lochbihler’s son, he worked on his shape here in Spain (during the off-season).”

The 34-year-old will be looking to get back on top form following what was a roller-coaster 2020. Monfils started last year by winning 16 matches within a three-month period. However, following the pause in tennis due to the COVID-19 pandemic he struggled to regain that form. Ending the season with three consecutive first round losses.

Monfils had been working with Liam Smith. The upcoming Australian Open will be his 54th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. He has only reached the quarter-finals at the Melbourne major once which was back in 2016.

So far in his career Monfils has won 10 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as sixth in the world.

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Tennis Australia Revamps Tournament Schedule Following Lockdown Quarantine

A series of changes have been implemented after dozens of players was placed into a strict quarantine after being deemed a close contact of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19.

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One extra tournament and a slight delay of three others have been approved by officials to help support players who have been forced into strict quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.

 

72 players in Melbourne are currently prohibited from leaving their room for a 14-day period after they were deemed to be a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. A Series of flights en route to the city detected positive tests and all of those on board have been ordered to isolate by health officials. Among those affected are Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Kei Nishikori.

In a bid to help support those who have been unable to train in recent days, Tennis Australia has confirmed that a third WTA event will take place during the week leading up to the first Grand Slam of the season. The Grampians Trophy will take place between February 3rd-7th and will only be open to those who have been affected by the quarantine. Like the other two, it will be classed as a WTA 500 event.

On the ATP Tour there will be no extra tournaments taking place but all three of their lead-up tournaments will start a day later. This applies to two ATP 250 events, as well as the ATP Cup.

“This has been a particularly challenging time for the athletes in hard lockdown and we, along with the WTA and ATP, aim to do everything we can to help,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said in a statement.
“These changes to the lead-in events have been made to give the 72 players a little bit of extra time to help them prepare. We also will prioritise them for things like practice sessions, gym and ice baths.”

Andrea Gaudenzi, who is the chairman of the ATP Tour, said players will also receive priority over practice and preparation. During strict quarantine all players have been provided with gym equipment that they can use in their rooms.

We are eager to start what I am sure will be a fantastic summer of tennis in Melbourne in front of our great Australian fans.” said Gaudenzi.

In total six tournaments will take place prior to the Australian Open which will start on February 8th.

New schedule of events

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