Alcaraz Set For Turin Debut, Meets Zverev

  • Posted: Nov 12, 2023

Alcaraz Set For Turin Debut, Meets Zverev

Medvedev & Rublev face off in evening session

Carlos Alcaraz will make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday in Turin, where he will face two-time champion Alexander Zvevev in his opening Red Group match in the afternoon session. In the evening, long-time friends and rivals Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev face off.

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[2] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [7] Alexander Zverev (GER)

After missing last year’s event due to injury, Alcaraz will make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday. The 20-year-old Spaniard has enjoyed a standout year, highlighted by his Wimbledon title. Alcaraz has not won a trophy in the six events he has played since Wimbledon but is hoping to re-find his best level at the Pala Alpitour this week as he chases his seventh trophy of the year.

“I’m expecting the Carlos from early this year, despite the results I’ve had in recent tournaments. The defeat in Paris, which was quite painful, made me realise that I have to work harder,” he said of the match he lost in the recent ATP Masters 1000 against Roman Safiullin. “And that’s what I’ve done. You always have to look for the positive in things. I’ve had several days to train to come here in optimum form. I’ve worked hard, on both fitness and tennis. I feel really good.”

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Alcaraz’s clash with Zverev will be the pair’s third of the year, with the Spaniard triumphing in straight sets in Madrid and at the US Open. Alcaraz threw in a number of serve/volley plays in New York and was an impressive 28 of 35 overall in net approaches. He may look to do the same in Turin.

Zverev has beaten the World No. 2 on three occasions and will try to use his powerful serve to trouble Alcaraz on the fast indoor courts. The German, who is a two-time champion at the event (2018, 21), missed the chance to qualify for last year’s tournament due to an ankle injury he suffered in the middle of his Roland Garros semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

Zverev has bounced back in 2023 by winning two trophies and is currently No. 7 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Locked at 3-3 with Alcaraz in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, Zverev knows how to defeat the 20-year-old.

“[You have] to be at your best,” Zverev said. “The times that I have beaten him, I was playing my absolute best tennis. If you are not quite there, if you are a little slow-ish, if you are not hitting the ball as well as you can, you don’t have any chance.”

[3] Daniil Medvedev vs. [5] Andrey Rublev

In the evening, Medvedev takes a 6-2 Lexus ATP Head2Head record into his Red-Group clash against Rublev. The World No. 3, who has defeated Rublev twice this season (Dubai, US Open), has performed impressively at the Nitto ATP Finals in the past. He won the title in 2020 and reached the title match in 2021.

However, 12 months ago the 27-year-old failed to win a match in Turin, losing all three matches in third-set tie-breaks. He hopes to fare better this week, starting against Rublev.

“It’s very tough,” Medvedev said of the challenges the tournament presents. “From the first match you play against a Top 10 player, which never happens on Tour, other than here. You have to play your best from the first match if you want to try to win the whole thing.

“I think he improved a lot this year,” Medvedev added when discussing Rublev. “He won a Masters 1000. The match I played against him at the US Open and the match I saw against Novak at Wimbledon, I think he improves step by step even more. Every match against him is tougher and tougher. I am going to have to fight my best, run a lot, and try to get him.”

Medvedev has won a career-best 64 matches this year, lifting five titles, including Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Rome. Rublev is a two-time champion on Tour in 2023, highlighted by his maiden Masters 1000 crown in Monte-Carlo. The World No. 5 reached the semi-finals at the year-end event in 2022 but is cautiously managing expectations this year.

“It was a great moment to be in the semi-finals at one of the best tournaments of tennis,” Rublev reflected almost a year later. “To be part of it was special. I remember when I won, the emotions were crazy.

“It’s not going to happen often. Of course I will do everything to be able to feel this emotion again. But we’ll see. There are all the best players. Everyone wants to win and everyone is playing unreal.”

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Defending Champs Ram/Salisbury Start Campaign

Defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury begin their campaign against Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden in Red Group. The American-British pair has won three trophies in 2023, including the US Open, Ram and Sailsbury’s third in a row.

In the afternoon session, Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski play Australian Open winners Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler. Koolhof and Skupski advanced to the semi-finals on debut together in Turin in 2022.

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