All eyes will be on Italy’s Jannik Sinner when he takes to court at the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday in Turin. The home star, who competed at the Pala Alpitour as an alternate in 2021, is relishing the opportunity to show the Italian fans he can handle the pressure on one of the sport’s biggest stages.
“I’m happy to be here,” Sinner told ATP Media ahead of his first round-robin match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. “Happy that this event is here in Turin. Hopefully it’s something positive for me trying to have a great connection with the crowd and hopefully I can handle it and handle the situation with the right mentality, because I feel I have a little bit more pressure, which is a very positive sign for me.
“I love to play under pressure. I love to play tie-breaks, I love to play the important points because I feel like there you can see who has what kind of game. And I feel like I’m trying to find as many important points as possible. Also because this makes you grow and also I’m here trying to win, but also to add some experience package for the next tournaments.”
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Sinner has been drawn in Green Group at the prestigious year-end event alongside Novak Djokovic, Tsitsipas and Holger Rune. The 22-year-old is aware of the threats all three bring but is hoping to use the crowd support and prior Turin experience to his advantage this week.
“I had a great feeling two years ago when I went to court with the crowd,” said Sinner, who played two round-robin matches as an alternate in 2021. “The connection was great and hopefully I can have a little bit or the same amount of connection. The crowd is going to stay behind me in good times but hopefully especially in the bad times that they push me. They give me some positive energy and hopefully I can convert it into a high level.”
Sinner, who is the only Italian in the eight-man singles field, was the fourth player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals after a standout season. The World No. 4 won four tour-level titles in 2023, including his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto.
The 22-year-old hopes he can use the momentum from his year in Turin.
“I had a very good season and I played fewer tournaments than last year but I played more matches,” said Sinner, who is 57-14 on the year. “It’s obviously a great sign for me and how I ended the past several tournaments was good. Hopefully I can show this here.”
Sinner plays 2019 champion Tsitsipas in his opening Green Group match on Sunday afternoon. The Italian trails the Greek 2-5 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series but is excited by the matchup.
“His strength is the serve plays really good and his high intensity,” Sinner said. “He puts a lot of intensity on the court. He also tries to go to the net a lot more, so it’s not easy to play against him. I’m really looking forward to it. It is going to be the first match for both of us.”