Alcaraz Goes Down To Safiullin At Paris Masters; Djokovic, Medvedev Wednesday

by Staff | October 31st, 2023, 11:19 pm
  • 1 Comment

Halloween turned out to be downright frightful for Carlos Alcaraz as the No. 2 seed fell in his Paris Masters opener to Roman Safiullin 6-3, 6-4.

Just seven points separated the two, but Safiullin for 4-for-8 on break chances while Alcaraz was 2-for-4 but really struggled on his serve, winning just 69% on first and a paltry 37% of second.

“Safiullin didn’t surprise me. I knew he had ben playing a great level these latest few months. He would play a high level. He didn’t surprise me at all,” Alcaraz said after.

Safiullin, who’s had a break out year, was down early breaks in both sets before recovering for his best win by ranking.

“Since qualies, I was not playing at this level but against Carlos and these Top 10, Top 20 guys, you have to lift up the level,” Safiullin said to the ATP. “I managed to do it.

“For Carlos, it was not his best performance, but still I’m happy that I can win,” he said. “Even if he’s not in the best shape it’s tough to beat him. So I’m really happy that I made it.”

Alcaraz has played five events since his Wimbledon title without a trophy. He’s also battling injuries.

“I just didn’t feel well on the court,” Alcaraz added. “A lot of things to improve, a lot of things to practice. I didn’t move well. In the shots, I think I had a good quality of shots. But physically in the part of movement, I have to improve a lot.

“I have time before the ATP Finals, a lot of days of practice to be able to reach that level, the level that I want to play,” he said. “Honestly after the loss, I have to take some time before thinking about the next days… But obviously before the ATP Finals begin, we have time.”

Earlier, No. 5 Andrey Rublev got by Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-3. Former winner Karen Khachanov sent off Laslo Djere 6-4, 7-5. Felix Auger-Aliassime kept rolling defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(7-3), 6-4 and No. 10 seed Alexander Zverev defeated Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

In the Race for Turin, Hubert Hurkacz kept in the hunt with a 6-3, 6-7(6-8), 6-3 win over Sebastian Korda. Hurkacz passed Fritz who won yesterday but withdrew with a stomach muscle issue.

After an 0-4 start yesterday, France finally got a win as Ugo Humbert topped Marcos Giron in straights 6-4, 6-3. But Gael Monfils fells in three to Francisco Cerundolo 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 7-5 and Arthur Fils and Benjamin Bonzi also lost.

Tomorrow’s packed scheduled includes the return of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic who will battle Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Djokovic took their sole clash in the first round at the Rome Masters this year.

No. 3 Daniil Medvedev collides with Grigor Dimitrov for a 9th time. Medvedev leads 6-2 winning last week in Vienna.

No. 4 Jannik Sinner clashes with Mackenzie McDonald, Turin hopeful No. 6 Holger Rune battles Dominic Thiem, No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Auger-Aliassime, No. 8 Casper Ruud faces Cerundolo and Zverev will challenge Humbert.

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