World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz suffered a shock defeat to Roman Safiullin on the Paris Masters as he misplaced his opening match of a match for the primary time in 2023.
The 2-time Grand Slam champion was overwhelmed 6-3 6-4 by the world No 45 in what was the gamers’ first assembly on the ATP Tour, with the Russian helped by Alcaraz’s 27 unforced errors.
Safiullin transformed 4 of eight break factors – two in every set – and saved two of the 4 break factors Alcaraz managed to engineer as he recorded his largest victory so far.
The 26-year-old has emerged as a drive in 2023, reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon earlier than shedding to Jannik Sinner and ending runner-up to Alexander Zverev on the Chengdu Open.
Safiullin stated after beating Alcaraz: “In opposition to Carlos and these top-10, top-20 guys, it’s a must to elevate up the extent. I managed to do it.
“For Carlos, it was not his finest efficiency, however nonetheless I am blissful that I can win. Even when he is not in one of the best form it is powerful to beat him, so I am actually blissful that I made it.
“All the pieces in opposition to these guys [is important]. Tactical, bodily, the psychological half. [It’s key] to remain focussed from the start to the top. Who could make it longer goes to be the winner.”
Alcaraz’s hopes of returning to world No 1 dented
Alcaraz was enjoying for the primary time since his last-16 defeat to Grigor Dimitrov in Shanghai 20 days in the past, having pulled out of final week’s occasion in Basel on account of foot and again issues.
He appeared rusty as he slipped to an opening-match defeat in a Masters 1000 occasion for the primary time since happening to Tommy Paul in Montreal final yr.
The 20-year-old broke early within the first set earlier than being pegged again, whereas he then opened up a 3-1 benefit within the second set just for Safiullin to reel off 5 of the following six video games to clinch victory.
Alcaraz’s loss to Safiullin dents his hopes of ending the season as world No 1 for the second straight yr.
Novak Djokovic, who presently holds that rating, begins his Paris Masters marketing campaign in opposition to Tomás Martín Etcheverry on Wednesday with the Serb searching for his seventh title on this occasion.
Djokovic performed within the doubles on Tuesday, teaming up with compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic to beat Ecuador’s Gonzalo Escobar and Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesov, as he returned to motion for the primary time since beating Daniil Medvedev within the US Open ultimate on September 10.
What else occurred in Paris on Tuesday?
Ninth seed Taylor Fritz’s hopes of an ATP Finals spot diminished as he withdrew from his match in opposition to Daniel Altmaier with an stomach damage.
The world quantity 10 will probably be now miss out on the season-ending match in Turin ought to sixth seed Holger Rune beat Dominic Thiem in his second-round match.
Tenth seed Alexander Zverev rallied from a sloppy begin to beat Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 4-6 7-5 6-4, shifting nearer to securing his spot on the ATP Finals.
Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the eleventh seed, additionally stored alive his Finals hopes by incomes a three-set win over American Sebastian Korda.
Argentine Francisco Cerundolo saved a match level and bounced again from a two-game deficit within the third set to beat house favorite Gael Monfils, whereas fifth seed Andrey Rublev defeated Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4 6-3.
Plus, sixteenth seed Karen Khachanov superior to the third spherical, seeing off Laslo Djere 6-4 7-5.