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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Jannik Sinner takes the positives from his defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Jannik Sinner has taken the positives from his straight-set defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter final at the Australian Open. The Italian 20-year-old star believes that the experience will help him to continue improving. 

 

“It’s a positive tournament. I think that what I have to improve is tennis in general. I have to serve better. I have to serve better, I have to do everything more, especially when you play against the top guys. My goal is to play many matches like this, important matches against the best guys in the world, and then we see and then I grow. I think it was good. I played matches, and I had a good experience. Let’s see what I can do here next year. I think I can go back with a positive mindset, knowing that I have to improve many things. There is a lot of work”, said Sinner. 

Sinner praised Tsisipas, who has extended his win-loss record to 3-1 in the four head-to-head matches against his Italian opponent. 

“I think he played better than me than me today. He served better. He moved the ball better than me. He was moving better than me. It’s tough to play against him when he plays like that. I could not generate the power that I would have wanted. I was trying to move him, but I was maybe a little bit too far back because he played incredible today. I didn’t have many chances. Especially he was serving well, so returning his serves was not easy. My return serves were not so good, especially when he had second serves, or I played very short or I missed. This is why he didn’t play so many second serves. I tried to step a little bit closer, tried to open the court, but today it was tough. I know what what I have to improve many things. This was a lesson for me”, said Sinner. 

Sinner, who was making his third appearance at the Australian Open, dropped just one set en route to his second Grand Slam quarter final two years after losing to Rafael Nadal in this stage at Roland Garros in 2020. 

“In the past few months I have matured as a player in many aspects, but above alla s a person. This is the most important aspect. 

Sinner has become the fifth Italian male player to advance to the last eight in Melbourne after Matteo Berrettini, who beat Gael Monfils in five sets reaching the semifinal the previous day. Berrettini has reached at least the quarter finals at all four Grand Slam tournaments. With a win over Rafael Nadal in the semifinal of the Australian Open, Berrrettini would become joint second Italian player for most Grand Slam semifinals in history alongside Adriano Panatta, who won Roland Garros in 1976. Sinner reached a career-high world number 10 last November. When Berrettini was that age, he had never been inside the top 500. 

Sinner has a bigger respect for his friend Berrettini on and off the court. 

“I enjoy watching Matteo’s matches. I admire him as a player and as a person. We are good friends I wish him all the best for the next matches. During the ATP Cup we practiced on the court and I now know him better. I have learnt a lot from training with him. Matteo is a very good guy. We get along well. Our rivalry is helping us to push beyond our limits”, said Sinner.

Sinner will return to the court to play at the Rotterdam ATP 500 indoor-court tournament. 

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Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis secure the semifinal spot in the Australian Open doubles tournament

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Australian wild cards Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios knocked out sixth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-5 3-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 15 minutes to advance to the semifinals in the doubles tournament on Kia Arena at the Australian Open in Melbourne. 

 

Kokkinakis and Kyrgios hit 25 aces and won 86% of their first service points. 

Kokkinakis and Kirgyos, who won the Wimbledon Junior title in the doubles together, earned the only break in the 11th game to claim the first set 7-5. The Aussies fired 13 aces and won 91% of his first serve points. 

Puetz and Venus broke Kyrgios in the second game at deuce in the second game and saved four break points to hold serve at deuce for 3-0. The early break was enough for Puetz and Venus to seal the second set. 

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis broke Puetz to love to open up a 3-1 lead. The home team fended off a break point in the seventh game to move ahead 5-2 and closed out the third set 6-3 with a double break in the ninth game.

The Aussie doubles team have never won a doubles Grand Slam title, but have won a singles ATP title each with different players. Kyrgios won the 2018 ATP Tour title with Jack Sock, while Kokkinakis claimed the Brisbane International with Jordan Thompson in 2017. 

“We are stoked with the win. We came big in the big points”, said Kokkinakis. 

Kokkinakis and Kyrgios recorded their third consecutive win against a seeded team to reach their first Grand Slam semifinal. 

“It’s been incredible. Another tough win. I think that’s probably the toghest pair that we have played. They brought some serious tennis today and it wasn’t easy”, said Kyrgios. 

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis set up a semifinal clash against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, who took down John Peers and Filip Polasek 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in 1 hour and 49 minutes. Granollers and Zeballos fended off a set point on serve at 5-6 30-40 in the first set, before breaking twice in the second set to close out the match. The Argentine and Spanish team have won six titles as a team, including four Masters 1000 tournaments in Montreal 2019, Rome 2020, Madrid and Cincinnati in 2021. 

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“It was crazy” – Kaia Kanepi Ousts Australian Open Second Seed Aryna Sabalenka In An Epic

The Estonian is through to the last eight at Melbourne Park for the first time in her career.

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World number 115 Kaia Kanepi produced one of the shocks of the tournament to send Aryna Sabalenka crashing out.

 

The 36-year-old Estonian saw three match points come and go but prevailed in the super tie-break to seal it; 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (10-7).

Through to the quarter finals for the first time in her career, she will face Poland’s Iga Świątek. The 2020 French Open champion saw off Sorana Cîrstea in three sets.

https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1485600320264847364

The first set saw power tennis from both players out on Margaret Court Arena. 

Kanepi held serve right up till 5-5, when Sabalenka turned the screw.

The Belarussian was pushed to deuce on her own service game but did enough to edge ahead.

She then applied enough pressure, opening up three break-points and only needing one, took the first set 7-5.

But the veteran Estonian roared back in the second set, nailing a huge break of serve to go 1-0 ahead.

Kanepi secured the double break, soon steaming ahead at 4-0 and eventually pocketed the set 6-2.

The 23-year-old from Minsk was beginning to look jaded in the deciding set, as Kanepi took an immediate break of serve.

She soon went 4-2 ahead but Sabalenka fought back for 4-4, as the set went back on serve.

Kanepi got the decisive break to move 5-4 ahead and serve for the match.

Nerves got to the Estonian, however, as Sabalenka saved four match points.

Three times at deuce, and on her third break point, Sabalenka levelled the set for 5-5.

Both players held serve, under enormous pressure, to send the match to a super tie-break.

Kanepi surged into a 5-2 lead but Sabalenka played clutch to level at 5-5.

It was soon 7-7, but the pressure got to Sabalenka, and Kanepi won three straight points to win the biggest match of her career.

https://twitter.com/KanepiKaia/status/1485614786473861122

Kanepi said she was shocked to have won. “Actually, I thought I was going to lose it after the match points I had on my serve.”

“It was really difficult to come back. I don’t know how I managed to do it.

“I was really tight. My hand was shaking when I started serving. I didn’t make any first serves in, and that added to the pressure. It was crazy.”

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