Alexander Zverev spread his arms laughing and waved freely to the Turin crowd: The Olympic champion caused a huge upset at the start of the ATP Finals and disappointed Carlos Alcaraz.
The 26-year-old from Hamburg beat the winner of the second Wimbledon from Spain 6: 7 (3: 7), 6: 3, 6: 4 and decisively opened the door to the semi-finals. Even falling in the third set, Zverev did not get out of his rhythm.
The tournament winner from 2018 and 2021, who beat Alcaraz with a stronger serve and a better balance between risk and safety, will face Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev in the group stage. The top two teams qualify for the semi-finals.
“My serve helped me a lot. I’m happy with this transformation. It’s always great to beat the best players in the world – and he’s one of them,” Zverev said in the on-court interview. In total, Zverev hit 16 aces and scored a solid 79 percent of the time when the first serve came.
Zverev slips: Memories of Paris awakened
“I simply enjoy being among the top eight players in the world and being able to compete with them,” he said before the start in Bala Alpitur, aware that the tournament suits him – hard court, indoor without the influences of external winds, two groups. Of gains.
He also proved that against Alcaraz, who clearly showed the limits of the two-time German Player of the Year this season. The German, currently ranked seventh in the world, did not win any set in the round of 16 of the Masters Championship in Madrid and the quarter-finals of the US Open.
But in Turin, Zverev created his chances from the start with a strong serve and a lower error rate in the beginning than Alcaraz, but he wasted four break points when the score was 3:3. Then the Spaniard, who had been a bit weak in recent months, suddenly appeared there and showed his brilliance. In the tiebreak he took the first set.
Alcaraz makes a lot of mistakes – bites Zverev
At the beginning of the second round, Alcaraz lost his control again and committed simple errors (33 unforced errors in total), and Zverev quickly took a 3-0 lead. With three aces in one game he finally won the set. After a break to make it 3-2 in the decider, Zverev slipped away sadly and smiled briefly. Alcaraz came over right away and asked how authentic the hamburger was.
He gave a thumbs up and then gave the all clear. “I didn’t sprain my ankle. I slipped and felt a strain in my Achilles tendon. It was a nagging pain, but I don’t think anything was broken. It’s nothing compared to Paris 2022.”
At least he didn’t show anything in the match, kept his nerve and celebrated the success.
Zverev now has a day off on Tuesday before things get serious again on Wednesday. Instead, the parallel combination with Novak Djokovic is now required again, the Serbian will meet South Tyrol’s Jannik Sinner on Tuesday evening (9pm live), and Stefanos Tsitsipas and Boris Becker’s student Holger Röhn will compete in the afternoon (2). :30 pm).
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