Alcaraz falls, Medvedev triumphs in ATP Finals


Considering all that he’s accomplished over the last two years — two Grand Slam titles and finishing last season as No. 1 — Carlos Alcaraz no doubt belongs among the world’s elite.
Still, this wouldn’t have been the ATP Finals debut the 20-year-old Spaniard was hoping for at the season-ending event for the year’s top eight players.
After missing the finals last year because of an abdominal injury, Alcaraz was beaten in his opening match on Monday by two-time champion Alexander Zverev 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4.
In the other red group match, Daniil Medvedev quickly dispatched his good friend Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-2.
Zverev also missed last year’s edition after tearing ligaments in his right ankle in the French Open semifinals. But the big-serving German clearly likes the fast conditions inside the Pala Alpitour, where he claimed the title two years ago. Zverev served 16 aces to Alcaraz’s 11, saved five of six break points, and never really let Alcaraz feel in control.
“I had a few break points that I couldn’t take, and I think that was the key of the match,” Alcaraz said.
Added Zverev, “I served very well. That helped.”
Zverev overcame a scare late in the third set when he was chasing down a forehand from Alcaraz, lost his grip, slipped and fell to the court clutching his left ankle. But Zverev quickly shook it off and held in that game for a 4-2 lead.
“I didn’t twist my ankle. I just kind of slipped. And kind of maybe pinched my Achilles, my capsule a little bit,” Zverev said. “Hopefully it’s nothing too major and I can continue playing.”
Zverev faced a break point while serving for the match and responded with an ace down the middle.