Alexander Zverev beats Carlos Alcaraz to open Nitto ATP Finals

League: Tennis

Posted on: 13 Nov, 2023 at 10:19 PM

Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany toppled No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4 in round-robin play at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday in Turin, Italy.

The upset gives Zverev a nice cushion moving forward in the Red Group of the season-ending ATP Finals. Matches against No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev and No. 5 Andrey Rublev remain for Zverev, who has won the ATP Finals twice (2018, 2021).

Zverev smashed 16 aces to Alcaraz's 11 and saved five of six break points to beat the 20-year-old wunderkind Alcaraz. It was a rematch of their U.S. Open quarterfinal in September, which Alcaraz won in straight sets.

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

Zverev was on top of his game, firing 37 winners with just five unforced errors. Alcaraz had 30 winners but committed 15 unforced errors.

Zverev is back in one of his favorite tournaments after missing the 2022 edition due to an ankle sprain.

In fact, Zverev appeared to twist his ankle during Monday's match, but afterwards he said he did not think he did any damage.

"I hope not and we will see when it settles down," Zverev said. "It is nothing comparable to (his injury in the 2022 French Open)."

The other match of the day was an all-Russian battle that saw Medvedev defeat Rublev 6-4, 6-2. Because he won in straight sets, whereas Zverev did not, Medvedev took the early lead in the Red Group.

Medvedev had a 10-2 advantage in aces and won a whopping 30 of his 36 first-service points (83.3 percent). Most importantly, he managed to save all seven break points he faced. Rublev couldn't hang tough despite saving seven of 10 break points. Medvedev is now 7-2 all-time against his friend and countryman.

Medvedev can tie Alcaraz and Serbia's Novak Djokovic for the most tour-level singles titles of the 2023 season (six) with a win this week.

Nitto ATP Finals group standings (match win/loss, set win/loss):

Green Group
1. Jannik Sinner (1-0, 2-0)
2. Novak Djokovic (1-0, 2-1)
3. Holger Rune (0-1, 1-2)
4. Stefanos Tsitsipas (0-1, 0-2)

Red Group
1. Daniil Medvedev (1-0, 2-0)
2. Alexander Zverev (1-0, 2-1)
3. Carlos Alcaraz (0-1, 1-2)
4. Andrey Rublev (0-1, 0-2)

--Field Level Media