Novak Djokovic will be looking to put things right as a matter of priority after losing to Jannik Sinner at the ATP Finals on Tuesday night. The Serb will go up against Hubert Hurkacz in his final group stage match later today as he aims to book his place in the semi-finals in Turin.
Djokovic’s defeat at the hands of Sinner brought an end to his impressive 19-match winning streak, with the Italian hopeful edging a three-set thriller to claim a huge win and delight the home crowd. It marked a disappointing blow for Djokovic but he was in fine spirits after the match as he insisted that he was proud of his overall performance despite falling just short.
“It’s normal to lose some of the matches like this, but I have to be content with the fight, the fighting spirit,” he said.
“I managed to make a comeback from a set down, a break down in the third set, playing in really challenging and difficult conditions on the court today. I’m proud of the fight that I put in. It just wasn’t enough for the win.”
Sinner, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to extend his 100 per cent record at this year’s ATP Finals when he faces Holger Rune this evening. He has failed to beat the Dane in either of their previous two meetings but will be hoping to captalise on his winning momentum to get the job done at the third time of asking.
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Alcaraz hails Sinner victory
Carlos Alcaraz has congratulated Jannik Sinner for his remarkable win over Novak Djokovic, who is currently in action against Hubert Hurkacz in his final group match.
“As a huge fan of tennis, it was one of the best matches of the year,” said Alcaraz.
“It was a high quality of tennis, it was an unbelievable match, a really close one. I think everybody enjoyed that match.
“Probably a few of them was a lot of nerves watching it. For me, I really enjoyed this match. It was unbelievable.
“Honestly, it would be really tough if I face Jannik in Italy. The crowd is going to be behind him, but who knows?”
Djokovic singles out three rivals
Novak Djokovic believes that three of his biggest rivals have put a target on his back following his defeat to Jannik Sinner, which marked the end of his 19-match winning run.
“It seems like Holger Rune, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are extra motivated when they play you,” said Djokovic.
“I think it’s normal, they want to get to where I got to. This happens everywhere I play.
“Everyone wants my head. Jannik got it today. But I’m happy with how I fought.”
Tsitsipas defended by Courier
Jim Courier has jumped to the defence of Stefanos Tsitsipas after the 25-year-old withdrew from the ATP Finals due to an injury sustained during his match against Holger Rune.
“Tsitsipas is a very thoughtful guy, and he is not an overly selfish guy when it comes to it,” said Courier.
“He understands the big picture. He wouldn’t want to do that to the tournament, but it’s what happened. I mean, you’ve got to give it a shot in your heart if you think you can go out there and finish the match.
“With the back thing, too, on this really quick, low-bouncing core, it’s very demanding on the body. Your reaction time has to be even quicker and that just puts your body at peril, as we can see.”
Djokovic’s behaviour questioned
Adriano Panatta has criticised Novak Djokovic for his behaviour during his defeat to Jannik Sinner and questioned whether Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal would have acted in the same way.
The Serb has been accused of of trying everything to break the rhythm of the match, which eventually went Sinner’s way after three gruelling sets.
Panatta told Corriere dello Sport: “Have you ever seen Federer or Nadal behave the way Djokovic did tonight? I would have bet anything that he would try for the match to break the rhythm, he always does.
“First the bathroom, then the physio, he tries everything. I don’t like that attitude at all. Thank goodness Sinner doesn’t care, he stays there calmly.”
Rublev branded ‘crazy’
Andrey Rublev’s racket-smashing antics during his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz did not go down well with Nick Kyrgios.
The Russian drew blood as he repeatedly smashed his racket over his own knee, leading Kyrgios to describe the incident as ‘crazy’.
“I mean, from someone who holds their composure pretty well, like myself, this is crazy,” joked Kyrgios.
“I’ve never done that, to be honest. I mean, he needs a knee.”
Zverev in Medvedev’s corner
Alexander Zverev has revealed that he will be supporting Daniil Medvedev against Carlos Alcaraz as the German looks to pip his Spanish rival to a place in the last four.
“I’ve never won a second round-robin match at this event and I won the tournament twice … that obviously gives me hope,” said Zverev after losing in straight sets to Medvedev last night.
“On Friday, I’ll be the number one Daniil Medvedev fan there is on this planet, for a change. We’ll see how it goes.
“It’s a little bit out of my hands. Of course, if Daniil wins, he’s playing very well, I think he does have a lot of chances to win. I have to be focused … and be ready to beat Andrey.”
Kyrgios makes X-rated error
Nick Kyrgios was left red-faced on his TV commentary debut at the ATP Finals as he accidentally blurted out the word ‘sex’ instead of ‘success’.
Kyrgios is in the Tennis Channel studio in Los Angeles this week and lined up alongside Brett Haber to offer his expertise as Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev.
“When you look at people who have had sex… success against Medvedev,” began Kyrgios.
“You know [Carlos] Alcaraz, every time he plays against him he’s moving forward taking all those volleys, taking time away, it’s crucial.”
Haber was in no mood to allow the slip-up to pass unchecked, replying: “Welcome to your first viral Tennis Channel moment, Nick. That was good.”
Djokovic warned by Sinner
Jannik Sinner has warned Novak Djokovic that there is more to come in future meetings between the pair as he now knows he can defeat the Serb after winning on Tuesday night.
He said: “Putting together all circumstances, playing here in Turin against the No 1 in the world, he won 24 Grand Slams, with such an atmosphere and everything, I think it’s in the top, top, no?
“Obviously, as I said before, even if I would have lost today, the match was really good. Also for my mind was really important to go close this match so in my mind I know I can really try to win against him also for the next matches.”
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