ATP Finals in Turin, Sinner ready for debut. But there is the unknown Tsitsipas


By John

Jannik Sinner is ready for his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. The only unknown for the South Tyrolean is the opponent he will have to face at the Pala Alpitour on Sunday afternoon: the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, number 6 in the world ranking, suffered elbow pain during training. An annoyance already felt on Friday, which the following day forced him to abandon the training planned with Carlos Alcaraz on the Centrale. The sore elbow is the right one, the same one that forced the Greek to withdraw from the 2021 ATP Finals and resort to surgery. For Tsitsipas – who recently reached the semi-finals in Vienna and Paris – his debut against Sinner is at great risk, even if the impression is that in the end the Greek will try to take the field to test his conditions and evaluate whether he the tournament can continue. The Polish Hubert Hurkacz, number 9 ATP, is in early warning. From the point of view of the approach to the match little changes for Sinner: they are two very similar players, both have an excellent serve (the Pole is perhaps even more effective), they are experiencing a good moment of form, they have an attacking game with Pressure from the baseline and are strong at the net. However, opponents within the South Tyrolean’s reach if he knows how to play as he has done in recent weeks. Jannik is preparing meticulously and for him there was yet another crowd during training: for every shot the public in the stands of the Pala Alpitour responded with prolonged applause, making the Italian number one feel their warmth. It’s also the eve of his debut for Nole Djokovic, the defending champion.

On Sunday evening he will face the Danish Holger Rune, an emerging talent in world tennis. «Rune is among the leaders of NextGen – said the Serbian – and among the best players who will lead this sport for the next ten years. He has Boris Becker, a true legend of the sport, next to him and he is continuing to improve and improve. Every time we face each other they are always very balanced challenges.” Djokovic is the real star of these Nitto ATP Finals. The attention of fans and media is all for him, the champion who wants to break every record. «At the moment my biggest goal – he explained – is to end the season as number 1 in the world. I need a win, and I hope it comes. And then, obviously, it would be wonderful to be able to win the tournament too.” He will have to deal, first of all, with the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, number 2 in the ranking, who is returning from a troubled end to the season, with some unexpected defeats: «I am in good physical condition – explains the young talent from Murcia – perhaps better than I was expecting. I will try to use this condition to my advantage. I expect the Carlos of the beginning of the year, despite the results obtained in the last tournaments.” He and Djokovic trained together for a couple of hours. «Training makes perfect – admits Carlos – and Nole is practically perfect. I always tend to add a bit of fun, both in training and in matches. And it helps me. But every player is unique.”