The Nitto ATP Finals officially presented to the press in Turin - UBITENNIS
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The Nitto ATP Finals officially presented to the press in Turin

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The 2021 Nitto ATP Finals were officially presented during a press conference at the Intesa San Paolo skyscraper in Turin. The Piedmont city will host the 52nd edition of the ATP Finals and is the 15th city to host the end-of-season tournament. 

 

The press conference was attended by Angelo Binaghi, President of the Italian Tennis Federation, Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, Valentina Vezzali, Undersecretary for Sport, Vito Cozzoli, President of Sport and Health, Domenico Carretta, President of Sport and Piedmont Region, and Gian Maria Gros Pietro, President of Intesa San Paolo. 

The first Turin edition will be held from 14 to 21 November at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, the venue of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. The Nitto ATP Finals will award the title of Masters to both the singles singles player and the best doubles team of the season. 

Binaghi said that more than 100000 tickets have been already sold.

“Today we passed the 120000 tickets sold for a total of over 15 million euros in revenues. At least 10000 people will be coming from outside the area of the tournamen, including 200 journalists. Our ambition is to be the best ever for this event. We will organise the best ever indoor tournament despite all the challenges related to the pandemic, said Angelo Binaghi.  

Hubert Hurkacz has earned the final qualifying spot for the Nitto ATP Finals becoming the second Polish player to achieve this feat in tournament history after 1976 runner-up Wojtek Fibek. Hurkacz secured his spot by beating Australia’s James Duckworth in three sets to reach the semifinals at the Paris Rolex Masters. Hurkacz won his first Masters 1000 in Miami beating his friend Jannik Sinner. 

Hurkacz has joined a star-studded field which features Novak Djokovic, winner at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, 2020 ATP Finals champion Danil Medvedev, this year’s US Open champion and winner of the Toronto Masters 1000 tournament, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters champion, Alexander Zverev, 2021 Olympic gold medallist and winner of two Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Cincinnati and two ATP 500 titles in Acapulco and Vienna, Andrey Rublev, winner at the ATP 500 in Rotterdam and finalist at two Masters 1000 tournaments in Monte-Carlo and Cincinnati, Matteo Berrettini, this year’s Wimbledon and Madrid finalist and first-time qualifier Casper Ruud, who won five titles in Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad, Kitzbuhel and San Diego. Jannik Sinner, who won the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and claimed four titles in 2021 in Melbourne, Washington, Sofia and Antwerp, has been confirmed as the first alternate. 

Berrettini will carry the Italian hopes in front of the home fans. The Rome native player is the first Italian player to qualify twice for the Nitto ATP Finals as well as winning a round robin match in London in 2019. The only other Italian players to qualify for the end-of-season tournament were Adriano Panatta in 1975 and Corrado Barazzutti in 1978, but they were unable to win any match in their singles appearances.  

The eight teams qualified for the doubles tournament are: Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic, Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury, Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos, Pierre Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut, Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Cabal, Kevin Krawietz/ Horia Tecau, Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares. While Filip Polasek and and Ivan Dodig have already secured their berths, Polasek remains in contention in the Paris Bercy semifinal this weekend. If Polasek and Peers also finish in the top 8 in the ATP top 8 Rankings, Polasek will need to decide whether he partners Dodig or Peers. 

Mektic and Pavic have clinched the year-end number 1 Doubles Team Ranking after claiming nine titles at Wimbledon, at the Tokyo Olympic Games, three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments at Miami, Monte-Carlo, Rome, Rotterdam and Eastbourne.

The eight players are qualified through the ATP Race to Turin based on the best 19 results achieved during the season. All singles matches are the best of three sets, including the final. All doubles matches are two sets (no ad) and a Match tie-break. The eight single players  and doubles teams are split into two robin groups. The top two from each group advance to the semifinals. 

“Congratulations to all players at this year’s Nitto ATP Finals. I want to thank all institutions, partners and sponsors who supported us. Competion on the Tour is fierce and to be standing amongst the top 8 at the end of the season is a phenomenal achievement. We look forward to a high-energy and action-packed season finale in Turin. Players will put on a big show During the presentation video with the winners of the past editions of the ATP Finals during the 52 years of history of the ATP Finals I got the goose bumps. The Race is the easiest qualifying system for the ATP Finals. The round-robin is the best possible format. I am proud that an Italian player will take part in the tournament. The average age of this year’s player field in the youngest at the ATP Finals since 2009. Most of the players in action in Turin are under 25. The only over 25 player is Novak Djokovic. We owe the success of tennis in the past 20 years to Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, but the new generation guarantees a great future for our sport. Tennis is a global sport. We are in a transitional period. The Era of the Big 3 has not ended yet, but the changing of the guard is near. When I was a player, I experienced the period that followed the Sampras and Agassi period. Every professional player feared that tennis could live a period of crisis. At that time I would have believed that a player could win 14 Grand Slam titles, but I have been proved wrong three times by Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. The future of tennis is bright”, said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi. 

The ATP Finals will be broadcast in over 180 countries for a potential audience of 95 million live viewers from Europe to Africa, from Asia to North and South America, from Australasia to the Middle East. The most important TV networks, such as ESPN, Eurosport, Canal +, Bein Sports, Telefonica/Movstar, the Reuters channel and Tennis Channel will be covering the Nitto ATP Finals. The tournament will be broadcast in Italy by Sky Sport. Rai will broadcast one live match per day during the group stages, plus one semifinal and the Final on Rai 2. 

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The Ultimate Tennis Showdown returns in 2023

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The Ultimate Tennis Showdown plans to return in 2023. The tennis league was founded by coach Patrick Mouratoglou in 2020 when the ATP and the WTA Tours were shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The UTS announced that it will hold exhibition matches in July, September, November and December in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 

The league introduces a series of innovative rules, including four 8-minute quarters, no second serves, relaxed code of conduct, sudden death tie-breaks, bonus cards and mid-match interviews with players, player nicknames. The goal is to attract a larger and younger tennis fanbase. 

The first edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown was held without spectators in Southern France in June 2020 to give players the chance to play matches when the ATP and WTA tournaments were not held during the covid-19 pandemic. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, Felix Auger Aliassime, Danil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem highlighted the inaugural edition. 

Patrick Mouratoglou: “I cannot give too much away, but the roster will be impressive. Our first approach with Ultimate Tennis Showdown was to validate the proof of concept. Then in 2022 we raised capital to run the events in front of a real crowd”.

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Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune and Jack Draper are nominated in three categories for the 2022 ATP Awards

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The ATP has announced the Awards Nominees for the 2022 season for five categories: Comeback Player of the Year, the Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Stefan Edberg Sportsmanships Award and Coach of the Year. 

 

Carlos Alcaraz and his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero have received a total of three nominations. Alcaraz has been nominated for the Most Improved Player of the Year alongside Maxime Cressy, Jack Draper and Holger Rune. This award will be given to the player who reached a significantly higher ATP Ranking by year’s end and who showed an improved level of performance through the year. 

Alcaraz is the youngest and first teenage player in ATP Rankings history since 1973, rising to top spot at the age of 19 after his US Open title after ending the 2021 season at world number 32. He beat Casper Ruud in the 2022 US Open final, becoming the youngest Grand Slam men’s champion since Rafael Nadal won the 2005 French Open, and the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras in 1990. 

Former world number 1 junior player Holger Rune broke into top 100 in January 2022 and ended the season in the top 10 after winning his first Masters 1000 title in Paris Bercy. 

French-born American born Maxime Cressy broke into Top 100 in January 2022 and achieved a career-high of world number 31 in August 2022. 

Jack Draper and Holger Rune have been nominated in both the Most Improved Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year categories.

Draper started the 2022 season outside the top 200 and broke into the top 50 reaching world number 45 last October. During the 2022 season Draper reached his first ATP Tour semifinal in Eastbourne as wild card. He earned the biggest win of his career over world number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to reaching the quarter final at the Montreal Masters 1000 as qualifier and beat Felix Auger Aliassime to reach the US Open third round. 

Alcaraz has also been nominated for the Stefan Sportsmanship Award for the first year alongside Felix Auger Aliassime, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud and Frances Tiafoe. The player, who conducted himself at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his off-court activities.

The nominees for the Comeback Player of the Year are are Borna Coric, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka and Wu Yibing. The player who has overcome serious injury in re-establishing himself as one of the top players on the ATP Tour. 

Coric beat world number 3 Rafael Nadal as world number 152 en route to his title in Cincinnati, becoming the lowest-ranked champion in Masters 1000 series history. 

Thiem fell out of top 300 last June after losing to Hugo Dellien at Roland Garros, but he returned to good form last autumn when he reached the semifinals at the 2022 European Open after beating Hubert Hurkacz. The Austrian player beat Tommy Paul in a tight three-set match with two tie-breaks after saving two match points. 

Wawrinka returned to his best form last October, when he beat world number 3 Casper Ruud and Brandon Nakashima at the Swiss Open in Basel, climbing 15 positions up to the top 150 in the ATP Ranking. 

Wu Yibing did not play from March 2019 to January 2022 due to injuries, rising from 1869 in March 2022 to career-high number 173 in August 2022 after winning titles at Orange Park, Orlando Challenger, Rome, USA Challenger and Indianapolis Challenger. 

The candidates for the the Newcomer of the Year are Holger Rune, Jack Draper, Jiri Lehecka, Ben Shelton, Chun-Hsin Tseng. The Newcomer of the Year is the Next Gen player who broke into the top 100 for the first time in 2022. 

Lehecka broke into the top 100 in February 2022 before reaching his career-high of world number 59 in August 2022 and qualified for the Intesa San Paolo Next Gen Finals. The Czech player world number 12 Denis Shapovalov for his first ATP Tour Main Draw win en route to reaching the semifinal at the ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam as a qualifier. 

Shelton achieved his career-high of world number 165 at the age of 19 last August, becoming the third highest-ranked teenager behind Alcaraz and Rune. He beat world number 5 Casper Ruud to reach the third round in Cincinnati in his Masters 1000 debut, becoming the youngest US player to beat a top 5 opponent since Andy Roddick at Montreal in 2001. 

Chun-Hsin Tseng broke into top 100 last June and reached a career-high of world number 83 last August. He qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

The nominees for the Coach of the Year Award are Juan Carlos Ferrero (Carlos Alcaraz), Frederic Fontang (Felix Auger Aliassime), Goran Ivanisevic (Novak Djokovic), Michael Russell (Taylor Fritz) and Christian Ruud (Casper Ruud). 

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Novak Djokovic starts the 2023 season in Adelaide

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Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 season in Adelaide. Djokovic ended the 2022 season with five titles at Rome Masters 1000, Wimbedon, Astana, Tel Aviv and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

 

Djokovic will also play in the exhibition tournament “World Tennis League) in Dubai from 19 to 24 December, where the Serbian player will team up with Grigor Dimitrov, Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa for the Falcons team. 

In the first week of January Djokovic will warm up for the Australian Open at the ATP 250 tournament in Adelaide from 2 to 8 January. The 21-time Grand Slam champion won nine Australian Open titles in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021 but he was not able to play in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season last January due to his Covid vaccination status. 

Djokovic joins a star-studded field that already features 2021 US Open champion Danil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray.

Murray will play for the first time in his career in Adelaide. 

“I will be starting the year in Australia, which I always really enjoy. Playing at the Adelaide International for the first time is something I am looking forward to”, said Murray. 

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