Carlos Alcaraz v Alexander Zverev: ATP Finals – live | ATP Finals
As we wait for our players to come out, let’s take a look at how Zverev is approaching this match, and how he’ll channel his previous wins against Alcaraz.
[You have] to be at your best. 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.
Djokavic speaks after taking a few pictures with the trophy.
It’s the crown of the season. Finishing No 1 is a dream of every tennis player. One of the most difficult thing to do in our sport. To be able to stand here is a blessing.
He thanks his team and gives a shoutout to the fans in Turin before he poses for more photos.
Ah, I realise why we are running behind schedule. Before the match, they are presenting Novak Djokovic with his record-extending eighth ATP Year-End No 1 trophy.
He secured the honour after his win last night, and comes out to cheers in Turin.
We are now getting a video montage of his best moments of the season.
This game was scheduled for 1.30pm GMT but the players aren’t even on the court yet, so I think it is safe to say we will be behind schedule.
Outside tennis, Zverev was issued with penalty order over ‘abuse’ of ex-girlfriend.
More on that story from Tumaini Carayol below.
So much has been said about Alcaraz, and he has certainly backed up all the talk, but that doesn’t mean Zverev winning today would be a big shock. In fact, this might be one of his best chances to get one over the Spaniard.
Alcaraz has never played a round-robin style tournament before, which will certainly take some mental strength getting used to. Zverev’s style of play also suits the indoor court, something that Alcaraz can struggle with.
Plus, for the 20-year-old, this is the longest period he has gone without a title since 2022. It has been six tournaments since his Wimbledon win. Could that be affecting him and thus give Zverev an advantage.
Am I reaching to try to make this sound like a more even match? I am not sure. I guess we will find out.
How do today’s opponents fare against each other? They have played six matches and their head-to-head record is exactly even, each winning three.
Their most recent one was none other than the quarter-final of the US Open, which Alcaraz won 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The Spaniard went on to fall to Daniil Medvedev in the semis.
A flashback to that tournament at Flushing Meadows and these words from Tim Joyce still ring true.
What makes Alcaraz so immensely appealing, aside from his contagious personality and varied game that seamlessly toggles from elegance to power, is the fact that he’s not a giant.
He has also almost single handedly brought back a more aggressive, forward moving style. Looking to attack the net at the earliest possible point in rallies, Alcaraz has dominated not by using pure power groundstrokes or serve, but by redefining aggressiveness in today’s game.
Let’s see if he can bring that style to this tournament.
Yesterday the Green Group got under way and Novak Djokovic ensured that he will finish the year ranked world No 1 after beating Holger Rune 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-3.
“It took everything. I knew it was going to be a tough night for me. I thought [Rune] played great. I played great in some moments. Overall a win is a win. It was a very emotional win and a tough win knowing the significance of the match,” Djokovic told Prime Video after his win.
Jannik Sinner also got off to a winning start by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Good afternoon! Day two of the ATP Finals is here, and what an exciting opening match we have in the Red Group – Carlos Alcaraz v Alexander Zverev.
Alcaraz is making his debut at the ATP Finals. He qualified last year but missed out due to an abdominal injury. The 20-year-old suffered a shock loss against Roman Safiullin in the opening match of the Paris Masters earlier this month, and he is hopeful that he gain regain the form he had when he picked up his first Wimbledon title.
“I’m expecting the Carlos from early this year [in Turin], 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.
Unlike his opponent, Zverev has been here before. He’s won this tournament twice, in 2018 and 2021, making him and Novak Djokovic the only active players to win multiple titles at the ATP Finals. The German had a tough start to the season as he built up strength from an ankle injury but he’s on the up at the moment, claiming two ATP tour titles this summer in Hamburg and Chengdu.
“It was difficult in the beginning. I was nowhere near even thinking about Turin. I was thinking about how to win matches. I was barely winning matches. I was barely making points as well. It kind of turned around in the summer for me. I made the semi-finals of Roland Garros. I think that was a big turning point for me. From then onwards, it was fun to be on the tennis court again,” he said on his tumultuous season.
Hopefully it’s a cracker. Have any thoughts, questions, musings or complaints that you want to share? Send me an email!