ATP Finals: Carlos Alcaraz beaten by Alexander Zverev on tournament debut

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Carlos Alcaraz endured a tough defeat, marking his third straight loss.


Carlos Alcaraz faced a defeat in his ATP Finals debut on Monday, with Alexander Zverev making a strong comeback to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-4.

Alcaraz, a 20-year-old, experienced his third consecutive loss. This is the first time since 2021, when he was ranked outside the top 100, that he has faced such a losing streak, according to the ATP.

After missing last year’s Finals due to injury, Alcaraz lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters last month and was then shocked by Roman Safiullin in the opening round of the Paris Masters.

Alcaraz will have an opportunity to make amends in Turin, Italy when he faces Andrey Rublev on Wednesday, but he needs to win his two remaining group stage matches to have any chance of advancing to the semifinals.

Alcaraz admitted, “It’s the only tournament where a loss does not knock you out. I still have a chance to continue improving and to get through the group stage. Tomorrow I’ll practise to improve everything that I didn’t do well today, which is a lot.”

Alcaraz emphasized the need for more consistency, stating, “Even though the court is very fast, I need to be more consistent. At the end of the second set and the start of the third, I hit three or four shots out straight away. That can’t happen, although everyone has their own style.”

“I watch Novak, for example, and he doesn’t give anything away straight away. My consistency was really lacking against Zverev.”

Alcaraz had not played since his shocking defeat to Safiullin on October 31 after being forced to withdraw from an ATP tournament in Basel with foot and back injuries.

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Alcaraz needs to win his remaining group matches to advance to the semifinals.

The two-time grand slam champion said he’s been “training pretty well” and “feeling good,” but said he wasn’t happy with his “tennis level” after the defeat.

“It’s been a long and demanding year,” he added. “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 … I have to get to this point of the year relaxed with a desire to win everything that is put in front of me.”

Zverev had struggled for consistency since returning to the circuit after seven months out with an ankle injury sustained at the French Open last year, but the German has started to find some form in the second half of the season, including winning titles in China and Germany.

There were concerns about Zverev suffering another injury after slipping towards the end of the match, but the 26-year-old was confident it isn’t anything serious.

“I didn’t twist my ankle. I kind of slipped,” he said, per the ATP. “There was a pain for a while and I don’t think any damage has been done.”

“I hope not and we will see when it settles down. It is nothing comparable to Paris.”

Next up for Zverev is Daniil Medvedev, who beat compatriot Andrey Rublev in straight sets on Monday.


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