The Italian Tennis and Padel CEO Angelo Binaghi kindly granted an exclusive interview with Tennis World USA, during which he talked about the upcomig ATP Finals, the young Italian star Jannik Sinner and the possible future ATP Masters 1000 in Saudi Arabia.
Binaghi underlined the incredible crowd success expected in Turin. And he also sent a clear message to those who criticized Sinner’s choices not to play in Bologna in the Davis Cup.
The season is approaching its conclusion. There is already great anticipation for the Nitto ATP Finals 2023: what audience numbers do you expect from the Turin Master?
“The numbers are those provided by the sales data, which we see every day: incredible, beyond all expectations, we are running towards fifteen sold out race sessions. I could make many considerations, I limit myself to submitting to the institutions, sporting and otherwise, a banal observation: tennis in Italy needs much larger facilities. And I also say this with a view to holding the Finals in our country.”
With a few weeks to go until the Finals, how do you see the protagonists already qualified or in the running for qualification? Alcaraz, Djokovic, Sinner: who do you think is favorite for the final victory?
“I’m not used to making predictions, I’m used to rooting for the Italians when they’re competing. And Sinner will go far beyond a simple participation. I’m convinced that he will be one of the great protagonists of this edition.”
Can the ever-increasing success of the Italian Internationals and the great enthusiasm around the Finals give further impetus for a possible renewal of the year-end Masters again in Italy, after 2025?
“We are working for this, we have all it takes to obtain confirmation, we now know we can host great tennis anywhere in Italy, even if we are aware that the competition will be even more fierce.”
Is the organization of the ATP Finals different or, in some way, more difficult than that of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia? What are the most difficult critical issues to overcome?
“It is an event with global appeal, as demonstrated by the percentage of tickets sold abroad, which is close to 40%. They are two great events, in two different realities, with some traits in common: our commitment, the fruitful collaboration with local administrations. In the case of Turin, also the contribution of the Italian Government.”
Was a location other than the Palasport Olimpico in Turin ever considered (in my opinion the optimal venue for the Finals), or was it the first choice right from the start?
“I repeat, it is the largest facility and is now too small for us. This year we have also expanded the spaces of the Fan Village to accommodate everyone.”
Jannik Sinner can give us the joy of winning the Finals in Italy: how do you evaluate the growth of our young talent in the last season?
“Exciting, but not surprising for me: Sinner is a well-established car that knows how and how much to increase the number of revs, and when to decelerate. I remind the know-it-all who still dispute his absence in Bologna. We expect him in Malaga, but He has to win the Finals first.”
Tennis is listening to the call for millionaires coming from Arabia, as has already happened in other sports: in your opinion, is there a way to contain this possible sporting escape?
“Tennis is not golf, and it is not soccer. It needs the passion of its people, and passion cannot be bought on the market.”
What do you think of a possible ATP Masters 1000 in Arabia? Will it be enough or will they aim for their own league separate from ATP?
“Precisely to avoid this, negotiations are underway to establish an eleventh Arab-led ATP Masters 1000. The unity of world tennis must be close to the hearts of each of us.”