Daniell Pledges 10% Of Winnings To Charity For Life

Marcus Daniell hit a booming ace off the court this week — for charity.

The Kiwi announced that starting in 2021, he will donate at least 10 per cent of his annual winnings to effective charity organisations for the rest of his life.

“I take deep pleasure in knowing that every success I have in my working life will ultimately end up saving or changing lives,” Daniell said.

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Daniell on 30 November 2020 launched High Impact Athletes, an organisation whose purpose is to channel charitable donations to the most effective, evidence-based charities in the world, specifically in the fields of extreme poverty and environmental impact. The doubles player has now taken his efforts to another level.

In an article he wrote on the High Impact Athletes website, Daniell explained the rationale behind his decision through eight points. One of those explains why committing to donate 10 per cent of his income is “really not scary at all”.

“I don’t need a fancy car or an expensive watch or even an extra barista-made coffee each day to be happy,” Daniell said. “Donating that 10 per cent is not going to decrease my happiness, but it is going to make thousands of lives a whole lot better.” 

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Daniell, who has been pledging a percentage of his winnings for years, does not donate to just one charity. The No. 45 player in the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings in 2015 became involved in the effective altruism movement, which focusses on using one’s resources to do the most good. That means Daniell researches charities and networks with organisations that are part of the movement to discover the charities that will make the most tangible impact with the donations.

Some of the charities HIA aligns with in the environmental impact area include The Clean Air Task Force, The Humane League and The Good Food Institute. Extreme poverty-related charities HIA supports include the Against Malaria Foundation, Living Goods and Seva.

Daniell has involved several tennis players, including Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jan-Lennard Struff, in High Impact Athletes’ efforts to streamline charitable donations effectively. The 31-year-old’s goal for 2021 is to channel more than $1,000,000 in donations to the most effective charities in the world by the end of the year.

Medvedev's Magic Versus Top 10

There is no one in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings outside of the Big Three — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — that has a better winning percentage against the elite than Daniil Medvedev.

According to the Infosys ATP Performance Zone, Medvedev sits No. 19 overall in the Open Era with a 16-19 win-loss record (.457) against Top 10 opponents. He has a better winning percentage than the likes of former World No. 1s Carlos Moya (44-60, .423), Jim Courier (57-73, .421), Thomas Muster (37-51, .420) and Yevgeny Kafelnikov (46-67, .407).

Dominic Thiem may have received recognition for his ATP Head2Head record against the Big Three – Federer (Thiem leads 5-2), Nadal (6-9) and Djokovic (5-7) — but the Austrian’s winning percentage against the Top 10 is the not as high as Medvedev’s. He is No. 22 in the list, with a 32-41 (.438) mark. 

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Last year, Medvedev was struggling by his high standards, entering the final two tournaments of the year with an 18-10 record. But a late-season surge led him to winning a third ATP Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Paris Masters and the biggest title of his career at the Nitto ATP Finals. It was an ominous sign and a return to his giant-slaying ways.

With victories over Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem at The O2 in London, he became the first player to defeat the Top 3 at the Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev was also the first player to do so at any tournament since David Nalbandian‘s 2007 Mutua Madrid Open run.

It sets up Medvedev for another big surge in 2021.

With eight Top 10 wins in 2019 and seven last year, Medvedev’s confidence continues to grow. Since breaking into the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings on 15 July 2019, at the start of a magical North American summer swing, Medvedev has posted a 12-7 record against Top 10 opponents.

As Medvedev prepares in Australia for the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, the goals of the 24-year-old will be clear. Carry his late 2020 form in 2021, make a bigger impression against the Big Three – Federer (Medvedev trails 0-3), Nadal (1-3) and Djokovic (3-4) – and potentially clinch more of the sport’s biggest prizes.

Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem & Co. Arrive In Australia

The world’s leading tennis players have begun arriving Down Under for a very different Australian summer swing reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The likes of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Dominic Thiem are preparing for an abbreviated ATP Cup, new and relocated tournaments in Melbourne and an Australian Open pushed back to February from its traditional mid-January start.

Djokovic, who last year dominated the swing by leading Serbia to victory in the ATP Cup and capturing a record eighth Australian Open title, arrived wearing his ATP Cup jacket.

To ease player travel logistics during the pandemic, Tennis Australia chartered 15 flights to bring players from the first ATP Tour stops in Antalya and Delray Beach (Miami), as well as from travel hubs including Dubai and Los Angeles. Some players will be travelling from Doha, where the Australian Open men’s qualifying event took place. Adhering to health and safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, players will submit to 14 days of hotel quarantine upon arrival before competing. 

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There will be plenty of action in store as players including Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem, Matteo Berrettini and more are set to suit up for their country 1-5 February at the ATP Cup in Melbourne. Serbia is the defending champion after winning the inaugural edition by defeating Spain in the final.

In the same week, Melbourne will also host two ATP 250 events, which run 31 Jan. – 6 Feb. David Goffin and Karen Khachanov will headline the Murray River Open (Melbourne 1), while Stan Wawrinka and home favourite Nick Kyrgios feature at Great Ocean Road Open (Melbourne 2). #NextGenATP stars including Jannik Sinner (Melbourne 1) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (Melbourne 2) will also be in action.

The men’s Australian summer swing will culminate at the Australian Open, to be held from 8-21 February. Fans will be allowed to attend in a limited capacity. Djokovic is the defending champion after defeating Thiem in five sets last year to claim his eighth Melbourne crown.

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Nitto ATP Finals 2021 Presented In Turin

The Nitto ATP Finals, the prestigious season finale of the ATP Tour set to be staged in Turin from 2021-2025, was today presented at a stakeholder engagement event in the Piedmont capital, hosted by Intesa Sanpaolo.

The event, broadcast live with tournament partners, key regional and national government representatives and media in attendance, showcased the long-term vision and positioning of the Nitto ATP Finals as it moves to its new home in Turin, following 12 successful years in London.

Presentations by Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, Angelo Binaghi, President of the Italian Tennis Federation, and Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin, alongside other key stakeholders, explored Turin’s successful bid to host the tournament — which saw the city triumph among 40 applicants — and the city’s ambitions to build on the legacy and growth of the ATP’s showpiece event, whilst promoting the region.

All roads on the ATP Tour this season lead to Turin and the FedEx ATP Race To Turin has officially begun, with only the best eight ATP singles players and doubles teams set to qualify. With players travelling to Australia to begin their 2021 campaigns, Daniil Medvedev, the Nitto ATP Finals defending champion, and Matteo Berrettini, Italian No. 1, sent their support via video message.

In addition to providing an overview of broadcast, marketing, ticketing and corporate hospitality operations, organisers thanked the tournament’s portfolio of globally renowned commercial and media partners for their support, including Nitto, who recently extended their commitment as Title Partner of the Nitto ATP Finals until 2025.

Gaudenzi said: “The Nitto ATP Finals has been an incredible story of growth and innovation, taking place in iconic cities around the world over the past 50 years. Now, we look forward to raising the bar together in Turin, an impressive city with the ambition and vision to build on that legacy and create something inspirational for our fans. We would like to thank all event partners for their invaluable commitment to the Nitto ATP Finals, and also to our players, who will be instrumental in writing future chapters of our most special event.”

Binaghi said: “Our management team has become accustomed to setting ourselves ambitious goals, as highlighted by the success and growth of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome over the past 20 years. Now, we have climbed Everest. The Nitto ATP Finals is the most important indoor tennis tournament in the world. Throughout the bidding process we were supported by the Government, the Region, the Municipality and the largest financial institution in our country and together, we have reached the top.”

Appendino said: “Thanks to a great team effort, we are here today, speaking about Turin as the centre of the tennis world. Turin won the bid against some of the best cities in the world, and now we look forward with confidence to delivering an outstanding event over the next five years. We are working together to create an event that engages city of Turin all year round, with great attention paid to each local territory.”

The 2021 Nitto ATP Finals will be held from 14-21 November. Tickets are currently available at NittoATPFinals.com and via Ticketone.

Korda's Next Move After Delray Beach Run: 'I'm Going To Go Work Hard'

Sebastian Korda’s dream week at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com fell short of the perfect ending Wednesday when he lost in the championship match against Hubert Hurkacz, but the disappointment won’t keep the #NextGenATP American down.

“I always handle things pretty well. In 2019 I lost in the final of the last tournament of the year in a Challenger with a couple of match points against J.J. Wolf and if I had won that match, I would have gotten into the Australian Open Qualifying,” Korda said. “It’s always a step in the right direction and I always take the positives out of things and I’ll have no problem dealing with this. For me it’s only a big plus. I’m going to go back, I’m going to go work hard and just trust my tennis and keep doing the things that I’m doing.”

That mindset helped the 20-year-old stay focussed throughout an impressive showing in Delray Beach, where he reached his first ATP Tour final. Before the tournament, Korda only owned three tour-level wins, all of which came at Roland Garros last year.

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The World No. 119 isn’t leaving the ATP 250 with the champion’s trophy, but next Monday he will move to the fringe of the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Reaching that milestone will be one of the American’s biggest goals when he begins competing again, but Korda is focussed on improving daily, not just shooting for certain numbers.

“For sure to break the Top 100 and be a consistent player at these bigger tournaments would be a super big thing for me to get used to this atmosphere and these players,” Korda said. “It would be super cool, but everything is a process and for me, I’m still 20 years old, so this year is still all about learning and working hard.”

<img src="https://www.atptour.com/-/media/images/news/2021/01/12/04/41/korda-delray-beach-2021-qf-reaction-final.jpg" alt="Sebastian Korda“>
Photo Credit: Andrew Patron/BigShots
After a few days at home in Florida, Korda plans to train in the Czech Republic ahead of ATP Challenger Tour events in France. But the short time at home will give the 6’5” righty a chance to reflect on a special week in Delray Beach. Korda’s parents, former World No. 2 Petr Korda and former WTA player Regina Kordova, were in the stands at the ATP 250 throughout the week, as was his sister Jessica Korda, a professional golfer. Sebi’s other sister, Nelly Korda, who is also a professional golfer, made it to Delray Beach for the title match.

“I always went to my sisters’ golf tournaments and it was always me and my parents on the outside. It’s super cool to see my whole family sitting in a box,” Korda said. “I’ve dreamed about playing Grand Slams and seeing my family up there supporting me ever since I was a little kid. Envisioning these things has always been super special and to see it’s coming true now, all the hard work and all the time that I’ve put into doing what I love, it’s finally paying off and hopefully I can keep going on the same path that I’m going on right now.”

Many young players would be devastated after losing their first ATP Tour final. But Korda was smiling and even laughing at times during his post-match press conference. Now he’ll get ready for the three-hour drive to Florida’s western coast, where the Korda family lives. Instead of thinking about his loss against Hurkacz, Korda will spend the ride alongside Nelly, reminiscing on one of the best tournaments of his young career.

“It hasn’t fully sunk in, how well I played this week and the great matches that I played,” Korda said. “I played some really good, top players this week and only good things are going to come from this.”

Hurkacz Fends Off Korda To Take Delray Beach Title

Fourth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz sealed his Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com debut by lifting his first trophy of the year after defeating #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda in the final on Wednesday.

Hurkacz, No. 35 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, came into South Florida going for his second ATP Tour title and his first since the 2019 Winston-Salem Open. The Pole didn’t drop a set all week, and needed just 68 minutes to claim the victory 6-3, 6-3 over 20-year-old Korda.

Korda scored victories over No. 95 Soonwoo Kwon, No. 52 Tommy Paul, No. 25 John Isner and No. 74 Cameron Norrie to reach his first ATP Tour final. He powered to an early lead against Hurkacz, dealing damage with his backhand to claim a break of serve in the first game of the match.

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But the American, who previously dropped his first eight finals as a pro before last year’s ATP Challenger Tour breakthrough in Eckental, couldn’t maintain the level as Hurkacz capitalised on an error-prone stretch to make his way back. From 1-3 down, Hurkacz came back to win five games in a row to take the opening set.

Hurkacz stayed comfortably in control in the second set as Korda’s struggles continued. The Pole broke twice more, claiming the match with a lob winner to become the first Polish champion to reign at Delray Beach.

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Behar/Escobar Claim Delray Beach Doubles Title In Style

Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar have started the year on the right foot after taking home their first ATP Tour title at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com.

Playing in their first tour-level championship match on Wednesday, Behar and Escobar edged past brothers Christian Harrison and Ryan Harrison to win 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 10-4.

“This doesn’t happen every day. We want it to happen a lot of times, but today we’re going to have fun and enjoy it,” Behar said after the match. “And then focus on Australia that we have to travel to early.”

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Behar, of Uruguay, and Gonzalo Escobar, of Ecuador, turned heads last year on the ATP Challenger Tour when they lifted five trophies. They continued to stand out in Delray Beach – thanks in part to Behar’s colorful wardrobe – as they took down the top seeded team Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo in the opening round.

They had to be focussed from the start against the Harrison brothers during the one hour and 43 minutes on court. They stayed locked on serve across the first two closely contested sets, despite creating 13 chances between both teams. After coming back in the second to make it one set apiece, the South Americans surged ahead in the Match Tie-Break toto become the first South American doubles champions at Delray Beach.

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“We’ve been in this position many times, not in ATP but in the Challengers,” Escobar said. “I think we’ve worked to be able to deal with it [well] and just try to play every point. And it worked. I think it all comes down to the everyday work, even if it looks like it’s not going to change anything.

“But I think that this week, something clicked, something seemed easier for us. And at the end, we got this title and it’s going to give us a little bit more confidence. I think it’s going to be a great year.”

The victory also makes Escobar the first Ecuadorian doubles champion on the ATP Tour since Nicolas Lapentti in 1999 Adelaide (w/Gustavo Kuerten).

Antalya Champion De Minaur Looks Ahead After 'Dark Times' In 2020

Alex de Minaur has hit the ground running in 2021 by posting solid performances at the Antalya Open for his fourth ATP Tour title.

“I feel I’ve improved everything,” admitted the Australian on Wednesday, after his final victory over Alexander Bublik. “I’ve worked on the body and mind to take it to the top guys, which is my goal. Being able to push them and getting stronger is my goal. I don’t want to have a good result every now and then. I want good results every week. I may lose to the top guys, because they are too good, but I don’t want to have any bad losses.”

The 21-year-old will fly to Australia from Dubai on Thursday after securing his first tour-level title since 29 September 2019 at the Zhuhai Championships (d. Mannarino).

“It’s now more about fine tuning,” he said, looking ahead to the Australian summer swing. “All of the tweaking and preparation came in the pre-season. I will look back on this week and see what I can improve on, so to play my best tennis at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open.”

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De Minaur reached his first Grand Slam championship quarter-final at the US Open (l. to Thiem) last year, but admitted 2020 was a difficult year for him.

“2020 was a tough year. I got my best result at a Slam, but it was still a dark time and mentally I did not feel great,” said De Minaur. “I put in a few matches together, and had my best result [in New York], so it was something to be proud of. But 2020, as a whole, I had a lot of expectations and it’s fed the hunger to make 2021 better.

“I knew I’d put in a great pre-season, I felt good and ready to compete. I gave myself the best possible chance to go deep in this tournament. I have got matches at the start of the year. I am very happy with my level. I got some quality wins and now I’m looking forward to returning to Australia, where I hope to have a good Aussie summer in front of a home crowd.”

De Minaur, who represented Australia in last year’s inaugural ATP Cup, now has a 4-4 record in ATP Tour finals.

Alcaraz, 17, Qualifies For Australian Open

Carlos Alcaraz will take his place in the Australian Open main draw next month after successfully qualifying on Wednesday in Doha.

The 17-year-old Spaniard got off to strong starts in both sets to beat second-seeded Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-3. Alcaraz won 73 per cent of his first-service points to become the first player born in 2003 to qualify for a Grand Slam championship.

The #NextGenATP Spaniard is the youngest player inside the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings and has built upon an impressive finish to the 2020 season. Across his final six ATP Challenger Tour events in 2020, Alcaraz compiled a 20-3 record and won three trophies from four finals.

Sergiy Stakhovsky, 35, also came through the qualifying competition, which has been held this year in Doha due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ukrainian worked his way past Dane Sweeny of Australia 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, converting four of 13 break points for a place in the main draw for the first time since 2016.

Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, 34, also clinched his main draw spot after a 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 11 seed Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, but 36-year-old Dustin Brown lost out to American Maxime Cressy, who qualifies for the Australian Open for the first time, after hitting 14 aces in a 7-6(5), 6-4 win.

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De Minaur Clinches Antalya Crown

Alex de Minaur captured the fourth ATP Tour singles title of his career on Wednesday at the Antalya Open. The fourth-seeded Australian was leading eight seed Alexander Bublik 2-0 in the first set, when the Kazakhstani retired after seven minutes of the final.

Bublik attempted to play after extensive physio, but had twisted his right ankle on Tuesday in his semi-final victory over Jeremy Chardy of France.

The World No. 49 told ATPTour.com, “I twisted my ankle yesterday and finished with an adrenaline rush for the best win of my life. I was so lucky to win. I tried to play. I was in the physio room for three hours yesterday and I tried to get ready for the match today. It’s hard for me in my third ATP Tour final, and I’ve never gotten the win.”

De Minaur, 21, adds to the three ATP Tour hard-court titles he won in 2019 at the Sydney International (d. Seppi), the Truist Atlanta Open (d. Fritz) and at the Zhuhai Championships (d. Mannarino). It was his first final since October 2020 at the European Open in Antwerp (l. to Humbert).

This week, De Minaur beat Bulgarian qualifier Adrian Andreev in the second round, sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the quarter-finals and second-seeded Belgian David Goffin in the semi-finals at the Limak Arcadia Sport Resort in Antalya.

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