| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Andrew Ong/USTA

 

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev kicked off his ATP Finals title defense with a victory in his opening round-robin match on Sunday in Turin, Italy.

Medvedev fought back from a set down to defeat Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

“I had zero break points to save, so in a way I was never under pressure,” said Medvedev. “I had only two games on Hubert’s serve where I had break points. Super happy to make this work, and that I managed to get both breaks.”

Following Medvedev’s victory, Germany’s Alexander Zverev notched a win over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 7-6(7), 1-0 (ret.). Berrettini suffered an oblique injury and was unable to continue after a hard-fought first set.

“I don’t really know what to say, because this is the worst feeling a player can have,” said Zverev. “You play all year long to qualify for this beautiful tournament. For Matteo playing at home, this is the worst feeling I think he will ever have in his career.”

Medvedev and Zverev now sit atop the Red Group. The Green Group began play on Monday, and world number one Novak Djokovic kicked off his title quest by knocking off Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 6-2.

“I recovered from that fall on that break point in that first game,” said Djokovic. It was very strange. I played a good forehand and came into the net and had a pretty comfortable overhead and I slipped, tripped, dropped my racquet and lost my serve. The conditions here are quite tough. If you lose your serve, it is difficult to get it back. But I managed to stay in. I am very pleased with the way I handled the match.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Russia’s Andrey Rublev will play on Monday night in their first round-robin match of the event.