TURIN, Italy (AP) — Strong serving and constant baseline play propelled U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev to a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over first-time qualifier Hubert Hurkacz in the opening match of the ATP Finals on Sunday.
Medvedev, the defending champion on the year-end match for the highest eight gamers, served 15 aces and didn’t face a single break level in opposition to the seventh-seeded Hurkacz, who beat him in 5 units at Wimbledon this yr.
Medvedev attributed his robust serving efficiency to circumstances he known as the quickest he’s ever skilled on tour.
“I don’t suppose it’s the floor itself as a result of (the) floor in all probability is strictly the identical as in London,” the Russian stated, referring to the earlier match host. “I believe it’s a mixture of air, which is basically dry right here, and I believe the ball goes very quick by way of the air, the balls itself, that are fairly quick balls, and the court docket.
“I used to be barely below strain on my serve in opposition to an incredible returner,” Medvedev added. “And identical for me, I had simply two games the place I had break factors.”
The victory gave Medvedev an early benefit in the Red Group, which additionally options 2018 champion Alexander Zverev and native hope Matteo Berrettini of Italy, who play later in the primary version of the occasion in Turin — after 12 years in London.
In the Green Group of the round-robin format, top-ranked Novak Djokovic opens in opposition to eighth-seeded Casper Ruud on Monday, then fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas performs fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev.
With each gamers serving nicely contained in the Pala Alpitour, neither Medvedev nor Hurkacz produced a break level in the primary set, when Hurkacz’s robust web play proved the distinction in the tiebreaker.
Medvedev responded with an early break in the second set then broke once more in the primary game of the third as he methodically wore Hurkacz down.
“Daniil is an incredible participant and he performs nice tennis for the entire match,” Hurkacz stated. “He doesn’t have dips in his game, in order that makes him such a tricky opponent.”
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