Daniil Medvedev, who will defend the championship in the Nitto ATP final, has already secured a place in this year’s semi-finals after reaching the top spot in the red group on the Pala Alpitour.
The Russian is trying to become the first player to have won consecutive championships in the finals of the season after Novak Djokovic won four consecutive rounds in 2012-2015.
ATPTour.com reached number one in the world to get information about her running into the trophy last year, how she enjoys Turin and what her favorite Italian food is.
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What was stuck with you in last year’s Nitto ATP Finals Championship?
The biggest memories were the semi-finals and the final. Of course I remember every match, every match was hard. But in the semifinals, I was down, Rafa [Nadal] served for the match.
I remember I felt like I was playing well. I was in good shape, I had just won Paris. I stood there and thought, “Am I really losing 4 and 4 and just going back home?” The home was close. It was the last tournament of the year, so I didn’t want to stop this way and I was just glad I managed to break through because you didn’t survive. [back] all the time, especially against someone Rapha.
In the final against Dominic [Thiem] it was the same. He completely controlled me for much of the match. I think at either 3-3 or 4-4 he had breakpoints and I remember the one he had, it was kind of an easy palm. I was online and he missed it. But that’s what tennis is all about.
I managed to win both matches, they were two and a half hours, two hours and 45 minutes. These two matches will stay in my mind as they make the title even sweeter.
Photo: Corinne Dubreuil / ATP Tour
How do you feel about moving the tournament from London to Turin?
It’s definitely different. It’s a different city, a different place. You need time to get used to it. I feel like the first few days aren’t always easy when you come to any tournament you’re playing for the first time.
Everyone asks me how I feel as a defending champion. I always answer that I feel like there is no defending champion. It’s just a new champion in the new city of Turin. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, especially since I play well. I hope more.
How special are Italian fans?
Italian fans are passionate. We have a queue in front of the hotel whether it is raining or shining in the sun. Of course a little more when the sun is shining! It shows how passionate they are about tennis. I think we’re trying to give them back [to thank them].
What is your favorite Italian food?
To be honest, I like Italian food so much, but I have to go put it with Cota because I like sweets and it’s definitely very good in Italy. I took it two or three times before the tournament because I don’t eat sweets during the tournament.