Carlos Alcaraz lost to Alexander Zverev in his ATP Finals debut in Turin. The 20-year-old missed last year’s event due to injury and his shaky late-season form continued with a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 defeat in his opening round match.
Alcaraz came back from a breakdown to win the first set in a tiebreak, but immediately fell behind in the second set and from then on it was Zverev who was the more stable in a battle that included some spectacular throws from both players.
The defeat was the third in a row for Alcaraz, who was beaten by Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters before suffering a shock defeat to Roman Safiullin in his first match at the Paris Masters.
Zverev, a two-time former champion of the event, has returned to form in the second half of the season after suffering an ankle injury at the French Open last year that sidelined him for seven months.
He had a worrying moment in the third set when he rolled his ankle, but he subsequently played down any concerns, saying on Amazon Prime Video: “It’s always nice to beat the best players in the world and he’s definitely one of them them.” . It’s special to win on this pitch again.”
The Brit Neal Skupski had previously made a successful start to his season in doubles with his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof. The Wimbledon champions are playing their last tournament together after Koolhof decided to end the hugely successful partnership. They will be looking to take on the strong and confidently defeated Australian duo of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler 6-3, 6-4.