Carlos Alcaraz was defeated by Alexander Zverev on his ATP Finals debut in Turin. The 20-year-old missed the event last year through injury and his shaky late-season form continued with a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 loss in his opening round-robin match.
Alcaraz rallied after being behind to win the first set in a tie-breaker, but quickly fell behind in the second. Zverev then maintained control and displayed some remarkable shots, making for an exciting match between the two players.
Alcaraz has now suffered three consecutive losses, first to Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters, followed by a surprising defeat against Roman Safiullin in his debut match at the Paris Masters.
Zverev, who has won the event twice before, has regained his top form in the latter half of the season after recovering from an ankle injury at the French Open last year which kept him out of competition for seven months.
During the third set, he experienced a concerning moment when he sprained his ankle. However, he reassured that there were no major worries and expressed on Amazon Prime Video, “It’s always a great feeling to defeat the top players in the world and he is certainly one of them. Winning on this court again is truly special.”
Next, Zverev will face Daniil Medvedev, who began his campaign with a straightforward 6-4, 6-2 win against Andrey Rublev.
Last year, Medvedev was defeated by Rublev at the same point in the tournament. However, this time, Medvedev was able to defeat his fellow Russian, who made several mistakes and lost his serve in the seventh game of the first set.
Medvedev withstood a barrage of attacks from his adversary, successfully defending against seven break points in his following two service games, and ultimately securing a one-set advantage.
Rublev, who will face Alcaraz in the next round, lost his serve at the start of the second set. Medvedev, on the other hand, gained another break and went on to win the match in 91 minutes.
British player Neal Skupski and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof began their doubles campaign with a victory. This is their last tournament as partners, as Koolhof has decided to end their highly successful partnership. They are aiming to end on a positive note and easily defeated the Australian team of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler 6-3, 6-4.