Sinner Returns To Top 10 Of 2021 FedEx ATP Race To Turin

© ATP Tour/European Open

Antwerp champion Jannik Sinner continues his push for a place at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

ATPTour.com looks at the top Movers of the Week in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, as of Monday, 25 October 2021

10th Jannik Sinner, +1
One week after being displaced by Cameron Norrie in 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin following the Brit’s run to the title in Indian Wells, Sinner regained his position in the Top 10 after winning his fifth tour-level crown in Antwerp. The Italian, who is bidding to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, is the youngest player to capture five tour-level trophies since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic triumphed in Estoril in 2007. Read Antwerp Final Report & Watch Highlights

View Latest FedEx ATP Race To Turin Rankings

16th Diego Schwartzman, +1
The 29-year-old has risen one spot to 16th after he enjoyed a run to the championship match in Antwerp. The Argentine overcame former World No. 1 Andy Murray and #NextGenATP Americans Brandon Nakashima and Jenson Brooksby, before falling to Sinner. It is the second time Schwartzman has reached the final at the European Open, having also advanced to that stage in 2019.

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Other Notable Top 100 Movers
20th Lloyd Harris, +1
23rd Karen Khachanov, +5
35th Marin Cilic, +8
57th Brandon Nakashima, +9

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Sinner Surges In Race With Antwerp Title

The competition for the three remaining singles spots at the Nitto ATP Finals was already tight, and it heated up further on Sunday when Jannik Sinner won the European Open in Antwerp.

The Italian on Monday will climb to 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin with 2,845 points, moving him to within 110 points of ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz (2,955). The Polish star holds the final qualifying position for the season finale, since eighth-placed Rafael Nadal‘s season is over due to a foot injury.

“Of course it’s [on] your mind trying to go there. I would be lying if it wasn’t like that,” Sinner said. “Every player feels pressure, but when you go on court you have to try to think about the match, your tactics against different players. I think this is the way to not think about Turin and all the other stuff.”

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Sinner Storms Past Schwartzman For Antwerp Title, Continues Turin Chase

Sinner, who won the 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, is trying to qualify for the year-end championships in front of his home crowd. But instead of worrying about the pressure on him to get there, he is taking the challenge in stride and viewing it as a positive.

“Honestly, I love to play tennis, and this is the reason why I play,” Sinner said. “Obviously you would like to go to Turin or you want to win this match or that point, but sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t happen. You have to accept that. Honestly, I just try to play tennis.”

Current FedEx ATP Race To Turin (Nos. 6-13)

*Out for rest of 2021 due to foot injury
Sixth-placed Matteo Berrettini is in good position to qualify for the second time (4,000). After the Italian, only 220 points separate seventh-placed Casper Ruud (3,015) and 11th-placed Cameron Norrie (2,795) in the Race, making every match critical. The sixth through 12th players in the Race — with the exception of eighth-placed Nadal — are all competing this week in the Erste Bank Open, an ATP 500 event. Ruud and Sinner could meet in a crucial showdown in the quarter-finals if they both advance that far.

Although he still has ground to make up, Aslan Karatsev boosted his Race hopes on Sunday by capturing the VTB Kremlin Cup trophy. The 13th-placed Russian now has 2,280 points and is within 675 points of Hurkacz.

Karatsev, who also triumphed in Dubai earlier in the year, can further climb the standings this week at the St. Petersburg Open, where he is the fourth seed.

The five singles players who have guaranteed their spots in Turin are Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev.

Sinner Storms Past Schwartzman For Antwerp Title, Continues Turin Chase

The historic achievements continue to add up for Jannik Sinner.

The Italian star defeated second seed Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday to win the European Open, marking his fifth ATP Tour title. The 20-year-old is the youngest player to claim five tour-level trophies since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic triumphed in Estoril in 2007.

It was a key week for Sinner, who will climb to 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on Monday as he tries to qualify for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Italian will trail ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz by just 110 points for the final qualifying spot, as Rafael Nadal is out for the season due to a foot injury.

Sinner did not lose a set en route to the title. The Monaco resident played some of his best tennis towards the end of the tournament, dropping just eight total games against in-form South African Lloyd Harris and Schwartzman in the semi-finals and final.

The top seed overpowered the Argentine in the championship match, blasting winners from all areas of the court, especially off his forehand wing. Sinner returned aggressively and never allowed Schwartzman to claw his way into the match.

The second seed was left frustrated as he tried to work his way into points. But as Sinner continued blasting through the court in the second set, Schwartzman showed his appreciation for his opponent’s level by giving him a thumbs up.

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Sinner saved the two break points he faced and lost just two first-serve points (21/23) in a comprehensive serving performance. But his returning was also impressive, as he won 53 per cent of his return points and broke Schwartzman four times in his one-hour, 16-minute triumph.

The Argentine was trying to claim his second ATP Tour title of the season (also Buenos Aires) and his first career trophy on an indoor hard court. Like Sinner, Schwartzman did not lose a set on his way to the championship match.

Did You Know?
Sinner is the fifth player to win at least four tour-level titles this year, joining Casper Ruud (5), Novak Djokovic (4), Daniil Medvedev (4) and Alexander Zverev (4).

Mahut & Martin Cruise To Antwerp Doubles Title

Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Fabrice Martin clinched their first ATP Tour doubles title as a team on Sunday in resounding fashion with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Dutchmen Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer in the European Open final.

Mahut typically plays with Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and Martin competes alongside Jeremy Chardy. But they meshed well together in Belgium, earning the crown without losing a set.

“I was very happy that Nico offered me to play. He’s always been a model and someone to follow because his results are unbelievable. Since I’ve played doubles, he’s always been someone I’ve looked at,” Martin said. “Today to win with him is something really nice, because we got on really well on and off the court. I’m happy that I managed to play well as well next to him, so it was a very good week.”

The second seeds won 60 per cent of their return points and broke their opponents’ serves five times to lift the trophy in Antwerp after 54 minutes. Mahut was happy with the pair’s performance in their third tournament together.

“The week was amazing, like Fabrice said. We actually played the week before the US Open in Winston-Salem and I had a calf injury, so I had to pull out from the second round. But I said to Fabrice, ‘I’ll be ready for Antwerp’,” Mahut said. “We had an amazing week.”

Mahut has made 49 of 51 tour-level finals with Frenchmen, and this was his 34th title. Martin is now a seven-time ATP Tour titlist.

Koolhof and Rojer became full-time partners earlier this year, and the Dutchmen were trying to win their first title together. The third seeds had not lost a set en route to the final.

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Koolhof/Rojer March Into Antwerp Final

© European Open

Jean-Julien Rojer and Wesley Koolhof end Xavier Malisse’s dream run on Saturday in Antwerp.

Heliovaara/Middelkoop advance in Moscow

Third seeds Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer ended Xavier Malisse’s dream run on Saturday at the European Open, downing the Belgian and Lloyd Harris 6-4, 6-2 to reach the final in Antwerp.

Before this week, Malisse had not competed at a tour-level event since the US Open in 2013. The 41-year-old has been coaching Harris and the pair received a wild card into the doubles draw to compete, triumphing in their first two matches.

However, Koolhof and Rojer were too strong for the Belgian-South African tandem, not facing a break point to advance after 67 minutes. They will meet second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Fabrice Martin in their first tour-level final as a team.

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Heliovaara/Middelkoop Edge Through In Moscow
Harri Heliovaara and Matwe Middelkoop battled back on Saturday at the VTB Kremlin Cup, defeating Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-8 to reach the championship match in Moscow.

The unseeded pair won 78 per cent (40/51) of their first-serve points and hit six aces to advance after 89 minutes. Heliovaara and Middelkoop are teaming for the first time this week and they will play fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic in the final.

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Sinner Marches Into Antwerp Final

Top seed Jannik Sinner soared into his fifth tour-level final of the season on Saturday at the European Open as he continued his pursuit to qualify for the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals.

The 20-year-old produced a dominant performance from the baseline to down South African Lloyd Harris 6-2, 6-2 in Antwerp in 87 minutes.

“I am very happy to be in the final,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “He is having an incredible season, so best of luck for him to finish in the best possible way. Thanks to the crowd for coming out today, it was a great atmosphere here. I just love playing here and love playing indoors, so hopefully I can play a great match again tomorrow.”

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The Italian, who has yet to drop a set at the ATP 250 event, is 11th (2,745 points) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, 210 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz (2,995). The Pole occupies the final qualification spot with eighth-placed Spaniard Rafael Nadal missing the season finale due to a foot injury.

When asked on qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, Sinner said: “It is a long way. There is still this tournament and then three to go. I have to play well in Vienna and well in Paris and there are other incredible players trying to get there. Hopefully this year, but if not I can be happy about my season.”

Sinner now leads Harris 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series and is aiming to win his fourth tour-level title of the season in Antwerp, having triumphed in Melbourne, Washington and Sofia.

The World No. 13, who is aiming to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November, will face #NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby or second-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the championship match.

“The courts are very similar to Sofia, where I have won the tournament twice,” Sinner added. “I love playing here, I think I can move well here. I am happy about my level today.”

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Victory would see Sinner draw level with Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev for the second most tour-level trophies won this season. Fellow Turin contender Casper Ruud, who is seventh in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin (3,015 points), leads the way with five titles.

Harris was competing in his second tour-level semi-final of the season, having reached the final in Dubai. The 24-year-old enjoyed a run to his maiden major quarter-final at the US Open last month.

Brikic/Cacic Reach Moscow Final

© VTB Kremlin Cup

Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic save four of the five break points they face to reach the final in Moscow.

Mahut/Martin advance in Antwerp

Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic moved into their fourth tour-level final of the season as a team on Friday at the VTB Kremlin Cup, downing Ilya Ivashka and Pedro Martinez 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.

The fourth seeds won 85 per cent (34/40) of their first-serve points and rallied from 1/4 in the match Tie-break to advance after 89 minutes. They are aiming to win their second ATP Tour trophy together after triumphing in Buenos Aires in March.

Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar advanced into the semi-finals in Moscow after the Uruguay-Ecuador tandem overcame Andres Molteni and Santiago Gonzalez 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Earlier this season, the unseeded pair won tour-level titles in Delray Beach and Marbella. Behar and Gonzalo will face Harri Heliovaara and Matwe Middelkoop for a place in the final.

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Mahut/Martin March On In Antwerp

Second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Fabrice Martin overcame Denys Molchanov and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-6(5), 6-2 on Friday at the European Open to reach the championship match in Antwerp.

The Frenchmen are teaming for the second time this season and saved all five break points they faced to advance after 84 minutes.

Third seeds Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer advanced into the semi-finals after the Dutchmen received a walkover from Benoit Paire and Lorenzo Musetti.

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Schwartzman Seals SF Spot In Antwerp

Second seed Diego Schwartzman may only be 5′ 7″, but he produced a dominant serving performance that John Isner would have been proud of on Friday at the European Open to march into his second tour-level semi-final of the season.

The 29-year-old dropped just seven points on serve, moving past #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-2 in Antwerp.

The Argentine backed up his impressive straight-sets victory over Andy Murray in their first ATP Head2Head meeting with a controlled performance against the big-hitting qualifier, not facing a break point in the match as he hit with great depth to advance after one hour and 34 minutes.

“For me, the stats are very important,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “I am not coming to the court thinking I am going to hit 10 aces. I have to do everything. I have to work, run and think for every single point. The opponent is going to play every shot and when I am returning well, everything is better for me.”

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With his victory, Schwartzman now leads Nakashima 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series and will face World No. 70 Jenson Brooksby or Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last four.

“It was tough because we have never played before,” Schwartzman said. “He is a big player, very young. He has reached two finals already this season. He is improving a lot and will be very tough to play in the future, so maybe better to play him now.”

Schwartzman is aiming to win his second tour-level title of the season in Antwerp, having triumphed on home soil in Buenos Aires in March. The 29-year-old has fond memories at the European Open, reaching the championship match in 2016 and 2017 and the semi-finals in 2018.

“Here in Antwerp I am always feeling good, so being back in the semi-finals I am very happy,” Schwartzman added. “I really love the city and the people here, I have confidence on this court.”

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Sinner Continues Turin Pursuit In Antwerp

The World No. 14 arrived at the ATP 250 event in strong form, after advancing to quarter-finals in San Diego and Indian Wells earlier this month.

Nakashima, who was bidding to reach his third tour-level semi-final of the season, began the week eighth (686 points) in the ATP Race To Milan as he aims to make his debut at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals.

Sinner Continues Turin Pursuit In Antwerp

With the FedEx ATP Race To Turin heating up, top seed Jannik Sinner continued his bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals on Friday at the European Open, overcoming Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 6-2 to reach his sixth tour-level semi-final of the season.

The Italian, who downed countryman Lorenzo Musetti in his opening match in Antwerp, is 11th (2,685 points) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, 270 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz (2,955).

The Pole currently occupies the final qualification spot with eighth-placed Rafael Nadal out for the rest of the season. Briton Cameron Norrie sits one spot ahead of Sinner in 10th (2,795) after he won his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells last week.

“I think I was very solid today,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “I played against him in Lyon and he is a very great player and he wants to hit the ball hard. I tried to stay solid and play deep, so I am very happy with the performance today.”

The 20-year-old is aiming to make his debut at the season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. In an entertaining match against Rinderknech, Sinner saved two break points when serving for the first set at 5-4 as he struck his flat groundstrokes with consistent depth, dictating on his backhand throughout to advance after 79 minutes.

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Sinner has enjoyed a breakthrough season, winning three tour-level titles in Melbourne, Washington and Sofia. The World No. 13 also enjoyed a run to his first Masters 1000 final in Miami in April, becoming just the fourth teenager to reach the championship match in the tournament’s 36-year history.

With his victory, Sinner has levelled his ATP Head2Head series with Rinderknech at 1-1, avenging his defeat to the World No. 65 in Lyon. The Italian will next face seventh seed Lloyd Harris in the last four after the South African moved past Marton Fucsovics 6-2, 7-5 in 85 minutes.

“I am happy to be in the semi-finals,” Sinner said. “He [Lloyd Harris] has had a great season and he is once again trying to find a way through. He serves well, he moves well. Today he played a wonderful match, so it is going to be very exciting.”

It is the second time Harris has reached a tour-level semi-final this season, after he advanced to the final in Dubai.

Murray: 'Sports Is A Results Business'

If given the option of playing well or winning, former World No. 1 Andy Murray knows which he would pick.

After a disappointing straight-sets defeat against second seed Diego Schwartzman on Thursday at the European Open, the Scot explained that he is less concerned with his level and more worried about adding to his win total.

“Sport is a results business. If you play well or poorly, it doesn’t really matter if you lose the matches,” Murray said. “You need to be winning and winning matches maybe when you’re not playing your best, which I have done a few times these past few months, but certainly not as many as I would have liked. That’s obviously what I want [in] the last few tournaments [of the season].”

In recent weeks, the 46-time tour-level titlist has discussed how he has felt slow in reading points and adjusting to rallies. Murray added that he has to improve his decision-making.

“I think at times being a bit more solid in the important moments and just getting the balance right about how I’m trying to play,” Murray said. “Today for example, I feel like I moved to the net way too often and it wasn’t particularly successful. Obviously there are some matches if you’re doing that and it’s working, fine.

“But if you keep repeating the same pattern of play or keep trying the same thing and it’s not working, that shows that you’re just not making the right decisions.”

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Schwartzman Downs Murray In Antwerp

Murray explained that decision-making will never be perfect, but that it is important to recognise when a tactic is not working and changing it accordingly.

“You’re not going to get every single one right in the match,” Murray said. “But you also have to be present enough to acknowledge what is actually happening in the points and why you are winning and losing points.”

The 2019 champion has proven he is capable of competing with some of the ATP Tour’s best players, pushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets at the US Open and battling Alexander Zverev in a tight two-setter in Indian Wells. He also showed his fighting spirit in a three-hour, 45-minute victory against Frances Tiafoe in Antwerp.

But Murray knows there is still work to be done to consistently get over the line in tight matches.

“Mentally today I was poor. My attitude was poor on the court and those are two things you can control,” Murray said. “If they’re not there, that also will make the decision-making harder.”