Jannik Sinner believes that Carlos Alcaraz is already one of the best players in the world - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner believes that Carlos Alcaraz is already one of the best players in the world



Jannik Sinner made a step forward in his pursuit of a spot in the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin after his 7-5 6-3 win over Casper Ruud in the quarter finals at the Erste Bank Open in Turin. 


“I think there was not a lot of rhythm in the match against Ruud, not so many exchanges. I served well especially on the key points. Obviously there was a lot of pressure on both sides. I am happy how I controlled the match emotionally and everything together. I would say it was a good match”, said Sinner. 

Sinner won 11 consecutive indoor matches this autumn season and claimed two ATP 250 titles in Sofia and Antwerp. His winning streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon, when he was beaten by Frances Tiafoe in three sets after 6-3 5-2. Despite the defeat against the US player Sinner has secured a spot in the top 10 for the first time on Monday. 

“The last couple of weeks indoors I have felt well. Obviously we can see that in the results as well, but every match is different. I have to stay focused, I have a goal in my mind in this sport and I think I am doing it in the right way”, said Sinner. 

Thanks to his win against Ruud, Sinner overtook Hubert Hurkacz and Rafael Nadal to move into the eighth and final qualifying spot in the ATP Race to Turin. 

During a very successful season 2021 season Sinner reached his first Masters 1000 final at the Miami Open, where he beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinal before finishing runner-up to his friend Hubert Hurkacz in the final. 

Last August Sinner beat Emil Ruusuvuori, Sebastian Korda, Jenson Brooksby en route to the final at the Citi Open in Washington. He defeated Mackenzie McDonald to win his third career title and his first ATP 500 trophy. Sinner was the first Italian champion in Washington tournament history as well as the youngest ATP 500 and first teenager champion since the category was created in 2009. 

At the US Open Sinner beat Gael Monfils in the third round to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the second time this season. Sinner lost to Alexander Zverev 6-4 6-4 7-6 in the fourth round. Sinner scored his second win against Monfils in the final of the Sofia Open defending the ATP 250 title in the Bulgarian capital. 

The Vienna Erste Bank Open tournament was also higlighted by another Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 in the Round of 16 and this year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) in the quarter final in Vienna this week. 

Sinner considers Alcaraz as one of the players to watch on the ATP Tour in the years to come. 

“Alcaraz is already one of the best players in the world. He is mentally strong, manages the game, gives the strength to the ball and moves very well”, said Sinner. 

Earlier this year Alcaraz made a major breakthrough, when he upset world number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fifth-set tie-break en route to the US Open quarter final at the age of 18, becoming the youngest quarter final at the US Open and a Grand Slam tournament since Michael Chang at the 1990 US Open. The Spanish teenager clinched the 2021 Umag title to become the youngest ATP Tour champion since Kei Nishikori at 2008 Delray Beach and the youngest ATP champion from his country since Rafael Nadal at 2004 Sopot.

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World Tennis League: Swiatek And Medvedev Among Top Names To Play Exhibition Event



image via ATP Twitter

During the off-season, some of the world’s best players will head to the United Arab Emirates next month to play in a four-day team event. 


The World Tennis League (WTL) will host its second edition between December 21-24 at the Yas Island’s Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The event features a total of 16 players split into four groups with each of those teams competing for the trophy. Every group will have their own coach and even an owner. 

Earlier this week, organizers confirmed the last players to be added to the line-up. Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz will all play in the event which will feature a combination of singles and mixed doubles matches. Those who have already confirmed their entry include Iga Swiatek, Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As for who is in what group, the SG Mavericks Kites features Sabalanka, Tsitsipas, Paula Badosa and Grigor Dimitrov. The owners of that team are SG Sports, the sporting arm of APL Apollo Tubes. An Indian-based structural steel tube brand. Their coach will be former Australian Open doubles champion Robert Lindstedt.

Team Eagles will be made up of Medvedev, Rublev, Sofia Kenin and Mirra Andreeva. Their owners are the Punit Balan Group. Balan is an Indian film producer and owner of several sporting teams. They will be coached by John-Laffnie De Jager who has previously worked with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Daniella Hantuchova and Ajla Tomljanovic.

The Honor FX Falcons is named after owners Honor FX features. Rybakina, Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Leylah Fernandez are in that group which will be led by Chris Groh. Groh has previously coached Fritz during his teenage years. 

Finally, The Hawkes team has Swiatek, Hurkacz, Ruud and Caroline Garcia. The team are the only one yet to have an official owner. Sweden’s Simon Aspelin will be their coach. 

“We’re thrilled to be announcing more star names to our exceptional tennis line-up for season two of the World Tennis League,” Rajesh Banga, chairman of the World Tennis League, said.
“These players are of the highest calibre and prominent names around the world so we’re pleased they will be competing in the unique tournament at our new home in Etihad Arena.”

The schedule of the event will be the following:-

DAY ONE: Hawks Vs Honor FX Falcons, Team Eagles Vs SG Mavericks Kites

DAY TWO: Honor FX Falcons Vs SG Mavericks Kites, Team Eagles Vs Team Hawks 

Day Three: Team Eagles Vs Honor FX Falcons, SG Maverick Kites Vs Team Hawks

Day Four: knockout rounds

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Luca Van Assche rallies from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen



Luca Van Assche came back from two sets to one down to defeat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (7-0) 3-4 (4-7) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in the second longest match in the history of this tournament. 


Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils beats Dominic Stricker to end Green Group unbeaten



Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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