2021 ATP Finals: Jannik Sinner replaces Matteo Berrettini; to face Hubert Hurkacz in the upcoming match

Matteo Berrettini replaced by fellow Italian Jannik Sinner in the 2021 ATP Finals

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner

Abdominal injury has forced Matteo Berrettini to retire from the 2021 ATP Finals. The left oblique injury that he sustained during his first group stage match with Alexander Zverev, has rendered him unable to continue. The injury was in the same spot as a previous abdominal injury that he went through earlier this year. After retiring from his match with Zverev, a clearly emotional Berrettini said “the worst thing that could have happened, happened.”

With Matteo Berrettini out of the picture, the first alternate Jannik Sinner is set to take his place. Sinner has had an incredible run this year but missed the cut for the 2021 ATP Finals by a narrow margin. This unfortunate twist of fate came just two days after Berrettini had expressed fondness for his compatriot in an interview and had said that he had hoped Sinner would qualify.

Jannik Sinner: Year at glance

Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner
Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner at the presentation ceremony of the European Open

20-year-old Jannik Sinner started the year by winning the Great Ocean Road Open and became the youngest person since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to win back-to-back ATP titles. After bowing out in the first round of the Australian Open, Sinner made it to his first Masters 1000 final in Miami, where he lost Hubert Hurkacz. At Roland Garros, he reached the fourth round but again lost in the first round of Wimbledon. Partnering with Reilly Opelka, he won his first doubles title at the 2021 Atlanta Open.

He won the third singles title of his career at the 2021 Citi Open. It was the first time that a teenager won an ATP 500 event since the category was created. Sinner made it to the fourth round of the US Open as well. He then went on to defend his title at the Sofia Open. His fourth title of the year came at the 2021 European Open, where he bested Diego Schwartzman. After a semifinal appearance at Vienna Open, Jannik Sinner became the first man born in the 2000s to appear on the ATP Top 10.

At the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters, Jannik Sinner lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the second round, thus being unable to qualify for the year-end championships. However, he did come to Turin as the first alternate. Matteo Berrettini, who earlier was the crowd favourite in his home country, has now been replaced by the younger Italian. Sinner will play Hubert Hurkacz in the group stage match at the 2021 ATP Finals.

“I’m devasted” – Matteo Berrettini

Matteo Berrettini
Matteo Berrettini

While speculations of Sinner replacing Matteo Berrettini had started after a video of the former practicing with Novak Djokovic surfaced yesterday; it was confirmed only after Matteo formally withdrew from the tournament.

In an emotional Instagram post, Berrettini said “I’ve finally decided my ATP Finals 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.”

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