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Alcaraz loses at Paris Masters in return from injury. Zverev and Hurkacz advance | Tennis News


Carlos Alcaraz hoped to finish the season as the top seed after a 6-3, 6-4 loss to qualifier Roman Safiullin in the second round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in action during his round of 32 match against Russia’s Roman Safiullin (REUTERS)

Returning from injury, Alcaraz dropped his serve four times and committed 27 unforced errors to Safiullin’s 21, a former junior No. 2 in the world.

“I didn’t feel good, you know, in the game,” Alcaraz said at a news conference. “I think I didn’t move well. In the shots, I think I had a good quality of shots. But, you know, physically, in the movement part, I have to improve a lot.”

The Spaniard was knocked out in the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters almost three weeks ago and withdrew from the Swiss Indoors in Basel due to a left leg injury and muscle fatigue in his lower back.

Alcaraz leads the ATP Tour with six titles this year but has not lifted a trophy since Wimbledon. He seems to have been running on fumes lately due to his intense style of play.

“The season is probably that long,” said Alcaraz. “That probably affects my game.”

Second-seeded Alcaraz and Safiullin traded breaks in the third and fourth games. Alcaraz struggled to find his range and dropped serve to 4-3 with a poor game that included a double fault and two unforced errors. Safiullin hit a service winner and two backhand winners to clinch the opening set.

Play was briefly interrupted at the start of the second set to turn off a bright pink light under the arena roof that caused trouble for the players as they were throwing the ball to serve.

Alcaraz cracked two back-to-back winners for a 3-1 lead only to break Safiullin back in the next game with a hand pass. Alcaraz fell to serve again in the seventh game, hitting a long forehand at the end of a long rally. Safiullin converted his second match point when Alcaraz sent a forehand return wide.

“Even if he’s not in the best shape, it’s hard to beat him, so I’m very happy that I did it,” Safiullin told the ATP.

Last season, Alcaraz was the youngest No. 1 end of the year. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings. He is trying to achieve the extraordinary feat of claiming to finish two years No. 1 at 20 only.

Top seed Novak Djokovic had scored 500 more points than Alcaraz this season before the Paris Masters.

Djokovic will not be able to win the No. 1 at the end of the year in Paris as Alcaraz still gets 10 points from his win in the second round.

There are 1,000 points for the winner of the Paris Masters and 1,500 points for a perfect run at the ATP Finals.

Daniil Medvedev also has an outside chance of finishing the season as the No. 1 player. 1.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev, 16th seed Karen Khachanov, Tallon Griekspoor, Alexander Bublik and Daniel Altmaier also moved into the third round.

Rublev defeated Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-3, Khachanov beat Laslo Djere 6-4, 7-5, Griekspoor defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 6-2, and Bublik beat Nicolas Jarry 7-6 ( 3), 7 -6 (3).

Altmaier defeated Arthur Fils 6-2, 6-4 in the first round but had to walk into the third round as his other opponent, Taylor Fritz, withdrew due to abdominal strain.

Ninth seed Fritz received treatment on his abdomen during the second set of his first round win over Sebastian Baez on Monday.

“It’s devastating that I had to pull out with so much on the line,” the American said on social media platform X. “I just wanted the chance to fight for my potential spot in Torino, but after getting scans today on my gambling it is not there. i can play. It’s time to rehabilitate and I hope to be back on the court as soon as I can.”

Before the Paris Masters, Djokovic, Alcaraz, Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev had already qualified for the ATP Finals, the end-of-season tournament for the eight best players on tour to be played in Turin from November 12-19.

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev and Hubert Hurkacz remained in contention for the remaining three points at the ATP Finals by advancing to the second round.

10th seed Zverev met former qualifier Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, while Hurkacz defeated Sebastian Korda 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, Francisco Cerundolo, Ugo Humbert, Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Mackenzie McDonald and Dusan Lajovic also won their first round matches.

Etcheverry outlasted Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 to save three match points to set up a meeting with top-class Djokovic.

Djokovic went up through three doubles matches with Kecmanovic on Tuesday. The Serbian pair of Gonzalo Escobar and Aleksandr Nedovyesov won 6-4, 6-2 in the first round.

Cerundolo saved a goal point to edge Gael Monfils 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5.

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