The 20-year-old is making his Turin debut as an alternate, after replacing Matteo Berrettini in the draw when he withdrew due to an abdominal injury. Earlier in the tournament, Berrettini was already forced to retire from his opening match against Alexander Zverev, trailing 7-6(7), 1-0.
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Sinner, who hails from northern Italy, narrowly missed out on qualifying directly to the ATP season finale – held for the first time on his home soil – after Casper Ruud‘s late surge claimed him the eighth spot. He will now face Hurkacz for the second time this season, in a rematch of their tightly contested Miami Open presented by Itau final.
The seventh-seeded Pole stunned the field in South Florida on his way to his first ATP Masters 1000 title. In the final, he defeated his good friend and occasional doubles partner Sinner 7-6(4), 6-4. The pair have teamed up as recently as August, but they are now getting used to increasingly finding themselves on opposite sides of the net.
“I’ve finally decided my #NittoATPFinals end here … I’m devastated and I never thought I’d have to give up the most important tennis event ever held in Italy like this.
“Thank you for your continued support and the thousands of messages you sent me.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 16, 2021
“I think we both are very young. If everything goes right, we both play for many, many years in tennis hopefully. I think we will see us together in some tournaments, in doubles for sure,” Sinner said after the Miami final. “I’m looking forward to playing against him once more in singles, taking the revenge and seeing what I can do against Hubi.”
Hurkacz will be looking to kickstart his Red Group campaign, and hopes to shake off a three-set defeat to Daniil Medvedev on Sunday. The Pole pushed the World No. 2 to the limit in his own Nitto ATP Finals debut, although the Russian used the fast conditions to his favour in the 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 turnaround.
Berrettini Withdraws From Nitto ATP Finals, Sinner Steps In
“I still have a chance to qualify from the group, it’s great. I’ll just keep fighting and then keep believing in myself,” Hurkacz said after the match. “I’ll just try to stay positive. OK, I lost this match, but I’ll think about the positives and what I can do better and prepare for the next one.”