Carlos Alcaraz hits two-and-a-half year low in concerning start to ATP Finals

Carlos Alcaraz suffered a disappointing debut at the ATP Finals on Monday as he was defeated by Alexander Zverev in his opening round-robin match. It means that the Spaniard is now on a three-match losing streak for the first time since March 2021. Alcaraz is now hoping to turn his fate around in his remaining group stage matches against Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.

Alcaraz has now lost three successive matches for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years. The 20-year-old has been struggling for form in recent weeks, going out to Grigor Dimitrov in the round-of-16 at the Shanghai Masters. Roman Safiullin then handed the world No 2 his first opening-round loss of the season at the Paris Masters.

His woes continued in Turin, where he made his debut at the ATP Finals and lost to Zverev from a set up, 6-7(7) 6-3 6-4. Last time Alcaraz found himself on a three-match losing streak he was a 17-year-old ranked outside of the world’s top 130. Back in March 2021 he lost in the second round of the Gran Canaria Challenger before crashing out in the first round of the Acapulco ATP 500 and the Miami Masters.

Because of the round-robin format at the ATP Finals, Alcaraz still has a chance to make it out of the group stage and into the semi-final depending on his results against Medvedev and Rublev. But he will still be disappointed not to get a win over Zverev after missing so many opportunities to break.

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“I mean, it was a really difficult one,” Alcaraz said after the match. “I think it was a close match, but I couldn’t take the chances that I had. This guy has one of the biggest serve on the tour. I had a few break points that I couldn’t take, and I think that was the key of the match.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion will now have the chance to avenge his US Open semi-final defeat to Medvedev, while he will face Rublev for the first time. And he knows that he must step it up to beat them and have a chance of getting out of the group.

Assessing his upcoming opponents, Alcaraz added: “Both players are great. They are playing such a high level. Medvedev has his style. He doesn’t miss any ball. He’s really, really tough. He’s a wall.

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“I think the last tournaments that he has played, he was more aggressive. For example, in the semi-final of the US Open he was more aggressive than I thought. I think that’s why he’s really, really tough. And Rublev, his power of every shot, it is amazing.

“His forehand is one of the biggest forehand on the tour, for sure. He hits the ball 100 per cent every shot during three, four hours. It is amazing. I will have to be really, really focused on every match if I want to give myself a chance.”

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