Sinner - Medvedev under the X-ray: Everything needs to be at 100% against Daniil - UBITENNIS
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Sinner – Medvedev under the X-ray: Everything needs to be at 100% against Daniil

Statistical analysis of the Miami final, won fairly convincingly by the Russian 7-5 6-3.

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Given the occasion, Ubitennis has provided an analysis of the Miami final, in which Jannik Sinner was unable to bring out his best and was crushed by Medvedev who was able to stay calm and stick to his plan A. Unlike the Rotterdam final, in which Jannik was able to put pressure on the Russian in extended rallies during the first set, Sunday’s match was completely one-sided.

 

General summary: once again, we take the opportunity to present our own analysis of the main dimensions of the match with respect to serve and return:

The data is as follows (all values are expressed in percentages, along the axes of the radar graph):

1st_in -> first serves in play 1st_won -> points won on first serve 2nd_won -> points won on second serve Bp_saved -> break points saved Bp_converted -> break points converted 1st_ret_won -> points won on opponent’s first serve return 2nd_ret_won -> points won on opponent’s second serve return Pt_won -> points won Ret_Won -> points won on return Srv_won -> points won on serve

It is clear that under all the main serve metrics, Jannik was at a disadvantage and was more or less dominated. If we compare Sunday’s representation with that of Rotterdam, we can see that the step back can be mainly noticed in the performance relative to the second serve. While in the Netherlands Sinner was competitive on rallies, forcing Medvedev to change his tactics, in Miami he was at a disadvantage even in this situation.

Serve direction: based on the charting provided at the end of the article, we have graphically represented the serving directions chosen by the two players in detail:

The graphs are read as follows: the blue arrows represent the direction of serves from the ad side (with players serving from right to left). The yellow arrows represent the direction of serves from the deuce side (with players serving from left to right). The thickness of the arrow visually indicates how much a particular direction was chosen compared to the other. The values are expressed in percentage, with the service area divided into 6 areas:

Serves from the ad side Wide serves Body serves Serves on the T Serves from the deuce side Wide serves Body serves Serves on the T Let’s see once again how the choices were made and what has changed between Rotterdam and Miami:

Distribution of serving direction on the first serve for the Rotterdam final 2023

Distribution of serving direction on the first serve for the Miami final 2023

It’s impressive to see how in Medvedev’s case the choices were almost replicated to the millimetre, while Sinner tried to vary more, distributing more evenly and using less the slice serve out wide, which had still brought good results in Rotterdam.

In terms of the efficiency of these choices, let’s continue the comparison with Rotterdam.

Distribution of points won on first serve during the Rotterdam Final 2023

Distribution of points won on first serve during the Rotterdam Final 2023

This is perhaps the data that struck us the most: compared to Rotterdam, there seems to have been a deliberate choice to use less slice serves on the wide side in the deuce court. However, this tactical choice, just like in Rotterdam, proved to be the most profitable for Sinner. Since we now lack a counter-test, it would be interesting to see in a future match on a fast surface what would happen if Medvedev were served slice serves systematically (say, over 75% of the time). Perhaps, despite his great recovery skills, having to handle so much court coverage on the opponent’s serve could be too much even for him. On the other hand, the choice to shuffle the cards more seems to have paid off for Sinner on the advantage side. On Medvedev’s side, the same invincibility was observed when the Russian had put in his first serves.

Performance on return: both players were extremely conservative, as they rarely tried to be incisive on their opponent’s second serve. As for the return position, the Russian positioned himself as usual on the backcourt when returning the opponent’s first serve, and the approach was not very different on the second serves. In this case, we do not report the data for Rotterdam for the Russian as they are quite overlapping.

Return position – Daniil Medvedev MIAMI FINAL 2023

In Sinner’s case, the comparison with Rotterdam is interesting because we can notice some significant adjustments.

Return position – Jannik Sinner ROTTERDAM FINAL 2023

Return position – Jannik Sinner MIAMI FINAL 2023

On the return to Medvedev’s second serve, the Italian stayed much further back, trying to start the rally and give himself more time against the Russian’s unpredictable second serves. Whether this tactic paid off today is difficult to say as second serve returns are typically the battleground of attrition where rallies are likely to extend beyond 5 shots, and today Jannik showed clear physical limits. It’s a shame because there remains a question mark over the effectiveness of a deliberate tactical choice.

Length of rallies: this is where the difference with Rotterdam is most noticeable. While in the Netherlands, the first set was a rumination of prolonged rallies in which Jannik often came out on top, today there was no particular contest.

Distribution of rallies by number of exchanged shots – ROTTERDAM FINAL 2023

Distribution of rallies by number of exchanged shots – MIAMI FINAL 2023

The prevalence of Medvedev on short exchanges, although not spectacular, remains. While on prolonged exchanges, the Russian literally set the table and feasted on a Sinner who, as he expressed during the awards ceremony, was not in the best physical condition. However, as always, the Italian was good at not giving up and trying to fight with what he had.

Management of pressure situations: one of the great myths in tennis is that of mental solidity and the management of important points; in tennis, it’s known that points are not counted but weighed, so we asked ourselves a question: is it true that certain players are able to raise their level and serve better at certain moments, more frequently than usual? We then looked at what Jannik and Daniil did today: the percentage of first serves in the court for the two finalists was as follows:

General % of first serves in play – MIAMI FINAL 2023

Afterwards, we looked at what happened in some game situations that we considered “Pressure Points”: in other words, every time the score was at Break Point or 40-40, we considered that point to be a “delicate” point and we crossed the data. The result? In the end, the sample largely reflects the general population. Today we didn’t see many situations in this aspect that were much above or much below average.

% of first serves in play in pressure situations – MIAMI FINAL 2023

It’s interesting to see the choices the two players made in these crucial moments on their first serves. The classic question that inevitably crosses a player’s mind in these high-pressure situations is: where to serve? which direction to choose? Especially when they were playing on the advantage side, they tried to mix things up a bit: Medvedev, who had normally served only 55% of first serves in “pressure point” situations, went wide in 75% of cases. Sinner, on the other hand, always went down the middle when he found himself playing heavy shots from the advantage side!

Distribution % of serve direction in play during pressure situations – MIAMI FINAL 2023

ATP

Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory

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Image via https://twitter.com/ATPChallenger/

It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.

 

The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.

With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.

It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.

“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),
” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.

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Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day

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Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.

 

Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

Results:
T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more

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After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10

 

By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

PositionPlayerCountryPts+/-
1DjokovicSerbia117951
2AlcarazSpain8535-1
3MedvedevRussia7280
4RuneDenmark4710 
5TsitsipasGreece46152
6RublevRussia45152
7SinnerItaly4465-1
8FritzUSA39551
9RuudNorway3560-4
10ZverevGermany30302
11TiafoeUSA2690-1
12de MinaurAustralia26851
13PaulUSA26601
14Auger-AliassimeCanada23401
15KhachanovRussia2135-4
16HurkaczPoland20351
17NorrieGB1985-1
18MusettiItaly1925 
19SheltonUSA173528
20DimitrovBulgaria1735-1

A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.

ATP NITTO FINALS

From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.

RankPlayerCountryPts+/-
1DjokovicSerbia89451
2AlcarazSpagna8175-1
3MedvedevRussia6590 
4SinnerItalia4365 
5RublevRussia36401
6TsitsipasGrecia3570-1
7RuneDenmark3055 
8ZverevGermania3030 
9FritzUSA3010 
10RuudNorway2625 

Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.

ATP NEXT GENERATION FINALS

The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
1AlcarazSpain817520032
2RuneDenmark305520034
3SheltonUSA1455200219
4MusettiItaly1300200218
5FilsFrance953200444
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
7StrickerSwitzerland576200290
8MichelsenUSA4922004117
9MedjedovicSerbia4852003121
10CazauxFrance4552002130
11CobolliItaly4052002132
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.

BEST RANKING

Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

PlayerPositionCountryProgress
Shelton19USA28
Jarry22Chile3
Baez28Argentina4
Fils44France4
Arnaldi47Italy14
Altmaier49Germany4
O’Connell53Australia16
Seyboth Wild76Brazil30
Gojo77Croatia28
Watanuki78Japan7
Mmoh81USA8
Hijkata83Australia27
Stricker90Switzerland38

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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