Zverev Rallies Past Alcaraz, Medvedev Too Good For Rublev At ATP Finals; Djokovic v Sinner

by Staff | November 13th, 2023, 8:18 pm
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It was a tough debut for Carlos Alcaraz whose late-season struggles continued Monday at the ATP Finals. Playing his first match ever at the year-end event, Alcaraz went down to former champion Alexander Zverev 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4.

The 6-foot-6 Zverev dominate on his first serve losing a total of six points on it the last two sets and saved both break points faced including one early in the second.

“My serve helped me a lot. Saving the break point in the first game of the second set helped me,” Zverev said to the ATP. “You don’t want to go down a set and a break against the World No. 2, so I am happy.”

Alcaraz has lost the No. 1 ranking but in this format, is still alive for the title.

“Congratulations to Alex for the win!” Alcaraz posted on social media. “This tournament is different in many ways, and one of them is that it allows you to reach the semis despite losing the first match. We will give our all on Wednesday!”

On Wednesday, Zverev will take on fellow former winner Daniil Medvedev while Alcaraz gets Andrey Rublev.

“I was feeling good physically and still am, but after the defeat I don’t feel good in terms of my tennis level,” added Alcaraz. “It’s been a long and demanding year. I have to improve to get to this point of the season in better conditions, above all mentally. It’s probably mental fatigue. If I want to win this tournament.

“At least I know exactly what is happening and what I have to improve on. I will have to get to work. I’m getting increasingly better at facing this kind of player, and even more so here, where every match could be a Grand Slam final.”

Medvedev cruised past his countryman Rublev 6-4, 6-2. He now leads Rublev 7-2 overall winning their last seven sets without Rublev even getting to five in any of them. Rublev did beat Medvedev last year at the Finals.

Medvedev cracked 10 aces, never dropped serve saving all seven break points faced.

“I felt good and I managed to put it on the court,” Medvedev told the ATP. “First set was really tough. I managed to just get a little bit the upper hand on the most clutch moments, and this helped me in the second, so I’m really happy.”

Tomorrow, the showdown of the round robin takes place as Novak Djokovic takes on Italian hope Jannik Sinner. Djokovic leads 3-0 with their most recent meeting a straight set win in the Wimbledon semifinals. Djokovic has won his last 19 matches.

“Jannik obviously is in a great form,” Djokovic said. “He’s been playing maybe tennis of his life this year, best season of his career.

“Jannik is one of the fastest and strongest hitters from the baseline out there in the world that we have, and have had for the last couple years. I know his game very well. I never lost to him, but we had some really close matches. Last time we played in semis of Wimbledon, obviously.

“It’s going to be nice I think for the tournament, us facing each other. I think we both in great form. Let’s see what happens.”

Sunday losers Holger Rune and Stefanos Tsitsipas also collide with the loser likely out of the mix. The Dane won both previous meetings last year.

“Every single opponent is at their best right now,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m not entering the court thinking that I might get a chance or an opportunity or having someone under-play of what their potential is.

“Holger has been pretty good against me in some of the encounters and matches that we’ve had against each other. I believe that he’s a tough competitor and someone that fights really hard on the court. Whether he’s up or down, he will not give up.”

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