During an exclusive interview kindly granted to Tennis World USA, the Italian Tennis CEO Angelo Binaghi talked about many current topics. From Jannik Sinner's amazing performances to Rafael Nadal's come back on the court, but also the Slam format and the Premium Tour.
President, what assessment can you make of this season for the Italian tennis?
"Exceptional? Choose the term, we have run out of words. An exhilarating ride, on and off the court. We confirmed our extraordinary organizational standards, with extremely successful tournaments.
And we began to reap on the court the results we have been working towards for twenty years. We are happy but already projected towards 2024. Confirming ourselves will be difficult, but we have all it takes to open a cycle."
Jannik Sinner's growth was sudden in the second half of the season, but it shouldn't be surprising, given the boy's qualities.
What do you feel like saying to all those who unfairly criticized him after Bologna?
"Who made a sensationally short-sighted assessment, wrong, as we immediately tried to say. I have maintained from day one that it was legitimate, indeed desirable, to plan the season around the ATP Finals in Turin and Davis Cup Finals in Malaga.
The facts have proved them right. Jannik and, fortunately, to Italian tennis."
The ATP Finals in Turin were a success: full of crowd attendance and matches worthy of the event. What will be the next step for FITP, besides the confirmation of the masters tournament in Turin?
"It wouldn't be a small thing to confirm ourselves in Turin, right? We are confident, we have given ATP all the elements to make a decision that would reward a city that has finally discovered the real value of a competition like the Finals, the most attended indoor sporting event in always in Italy."
Can the Davis Cup finals in Milan in 2025 become a reality?
"We hope so, we are ready to participate in the competition as soon as the ITF announces it, and we are convinced that we will be very competitive.
Milan and tennis will be another winning combination."
Rafael Nadal is ready to return to the court: if necessary, would FITP guarantee the Spaniard a wild card for Rome?
"First of all, I'm happy that a champion like Nadal is back on the court to challenge this new generation of champions, like Sinner.
For the rest, it's still premature to talk about it."
If you wanted to send a message to Sinner and to Matteo Berrettini ahead of next season, what would you tell them?
"I would like to say to Sinner to not changing anything, absolutely nothing.
To Berrettini for having better luck."
There is a lot of talk about the Premium Tour, a circuit parallel to the ATP one, which would bring together Slams, ATP Masters 1000 and ATP Finals. Would you be in favor?
"I have read, here too it seems to me that it is very premature to talk about it.
Rather, I hope that one day we can question the Slam system, which has been the same for a century, closed, deaf to any renewal. Why the Grand Slam tournaments must always remain only those?"