Novak Djokovic is chasing his sixth Nitto ATP Finals in Turin - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic is chasing his sixth Nitto ATP Finals in Turin

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Novak Djokovic is aiming to finish the 2022 season on a high note at the Nitto ATP Finals to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. Djokovic and the other eight stars had the chance to meet journalists during the traditional Media Day and greet fans on the Piazza San Carlo in the centre of Turin. 

“It would be a perfect ending to the season. The cherry on the cake, but it’s a long way. It’s a beautiful day and it’s very nice to see many people out on the streets to welcome us in this beautiful city of Torino, where the Nitto ATP Finals was hosted for the first time last year. This is where we are going to have it for five years, and I think it is a great setting, a really wonderful arena. There is a hype around the tournament. It’s the last week of the year. It’s kind of a last sprint for all of us. From the very first match you are going to have extra high intensity, so each one of us is trying to get ready as best as possible but also to enjoy these few days before the tournament starts”, said Djokovic. 

Djokovic has been drawn in a very strong round robin group against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danil Medvedev, who won the ATP Finals in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and Andrey Rublev. 

Djokovic will start his Turin campaign against Tsitsipas on Monday. They will clash against each other for the third in the past five weeks. Djokovic leads 9-2 in his eleven head-to-head match against Tsitsipas. This year the Serbian player beat his Greek rival three times in the Masters 1000 final in Rome, in the final of the ATP 500 in Astana and in the semifinal of the Masters 1000 in Paris Bercy. 

Djokovic reached the 12th final of his career at the Rome Masters 1000 tournament. In the semifinals he beat Casper Ruud to achieve his his 1000th career win, becoming only the fifth player to reach this milestone. In the final he beat Tsitsipas to win his sixth Rome final and his 38th Masters 1000 title. At Wimbledon he beat Nick Kyrgios in four sets in the final to achieve his fourth consecutive and seventh overall Wimbledon title. With his win at the Wimbledon Championships Djokovic reached a total of 21 Grand Slam titles, breaking the tie of 20 Majors with Federer. He is just one Grand Slam title behind Nadal.

“I played against him in the past two tournaments in the final in Astana and in the semifinals in Paris Bercy. Both matches were quite close, particularly the one in Paris. I know that I am expecting a tough match without a doubt. In the past four or five months, I have won Wimbledon and most of the tournaments that I had indoors prior to the tour finals. I am motivated and I am looking forward to a challenge. I think the intensity is going to be really high right from the blocks I have to be focused like I am playing finals. Each match is going to be this way”, said Djokovic.

Djokovic is chasing the goal to equal Roger Federer’s record of six Nitto ATP Finals titles and win his first trophy at the end-of the year tournament since 2015. “I don’t feel like I am as young as the other guys. It’s been a while since my first participation in the ATP Finals, but I have been in good shape. You have got to play the best players in the world here. You have to play more or less everyone in the tournament, in this format, many times and hopefully that can serve me in a good way”.

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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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