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Russian roulette

TURIN, November 16

Defending ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev maintained his perfect start to this year’s tournament but found it hard going against Alexander Zverev, eventually winning 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(6) in their Red Group clash today.

Medvedev had won his opening match against Hubert Hurkacz while Zverev was given a walkover in his opener on Sunday against Italian Matteo Berrettini, who retired injured and then withdrew from the tournament today.

The Russian world No. 2, who won his first Grand Slam this year at the US Open, raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set by frequently coming to the net and looked like he would take a comfortable fifth straight victory over Zverev.

However, the German found some confidence in Turin to bring himself back into the contest, firing down 13 aces and taking the second set on a tiebreak. The pair could not be separated in the decider with neither able to break serve and both soaking up some heavy hitting.

Andrey Rublev began his campaign with a victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas but three hours before the match, the Russian had no idea what day it was after waking up dazed and confused following a pre-match nap. Rublev beat Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4.

Birthday bomb

Guadalajara: Iga Swiatek departed the WTA Finals with a win after spoiling Paula Badosa’s birthday 7-5 6-4. The Pole couldn’t advance after losing her first two singles but got to finish her two-title season with a smile. — Agencies

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