TURIN: Carlos Alcaraz kept his hopes of reaching the last four of the ATP Finals alive with a 7-5 6-2 win over an emotionally anxious Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.
World number two Alcaraz has struggled with form and conditioning over the last few months and was eyeing a possible early elimination after losing his first Red Group match against Alexander Zverev.
But he looked to be in much better shape on Wednesday, easily taking his first win of the season-ending tournament and ending a three-game losing streak.
“I’m really happy to get my first win at the Masters in Turin. I played at such a great level and I’m really happy with that,” Alcaraz said on the court.
“The first game was a tough one for me and then it was a tough moment after that, but I’m really happy with the way I came back.”
The 20-year-old easily dealt with Russian Rublev, who once again failed to make his mark in a big match with one of tennis’ leading stars, an issue that has dogged his career.
Fifth seed Rublev, the reigning Monte Carlo Masters champion, broke down in tears after losing his opening match against Daniil Medvedev and lost control again, losing his service game at the start of the second set.
One set and a break was too much for the 26-year-old, who began slamming his racket into his own knee, drawing blood as he sat down.
The troubled Rublev was still bleeding from his leg after the field change and, just like against Medvedev, he lost his temper and collapsed instantly.
After setting aside his serve to love in the seventh game to give Alcaraz a chance to serve for the match, Rublev sat with his towel over his head and clearly tried to hold back tears before Alcaraz sealed the straight sets victory.
Alcaraz will face Medvedev in his last match, and his Russian opponent will have a chance to advance to the semi-finals in his match against Zverev later on Wednesday.
World number three Medvedev could book an early place in the next round if he wins in straight sets, while Alcaraz’s victory means seventh seed Zverev will be done with any victory.
news source (www.brecorder.com)