In his first competitive outing at the ATP Finals, Alexander Zverev emerged a winner in London.
The 20-year-old and world No.3 ousted Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-3 to join Roger Federer as a winner on the opening day of the eight-player tournament.
Federer earlier on Sunday beat another ATP Finals debutant, Jack Sock, 6-4 7-6(4).
Having won in straight sets as opposed to Zverev, who triumphed in three, Federer tops the Boris Becker round-robin group and is well-placed to qualify for the semifinals.
#NittoATPFinals Semi-Final Qualification Scenarios ????
Federer qualifies Tuesday if:
– He defeats Zverev in straight sets
– He defeats Zverev and Sock defeats Cilic
Zverev qualifies on Tuesday if:
– He defeats Federer and Cilic defeats Sock
Get Tickets: https://t.co/CpIMdaNgVq
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 12, 2017
Zverev was the aggressor during his two-hour, five-minute victory over Cilic, finishing with 31 winners to the Croat’s 20.
Cilic led 3-1 in the final set before the young German rattled off five of the next six games.
He brought up match point with a backhand winner down the line before swatting away an overhead to seal victory.
“For the most part of the second and third sets he was the much better player,” Zverev said, after extending his head-to-head record over Cilic to 4-1.
“He had chances to go up a double break (in the third set). I’m just happy to get back somehow and win this match.
“It means a lot for me to play here … in this stadium, it’s amazing. If you get the opportunity to play here you’ve got to give it the best you’ve got.
“That’s what I did and I’m happy to get the win.”
He did it the hard way…
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 12, 2017
In Monday’s round-robin matches, Grigor Dimitrov will take on Dominic Thiem before world No.1 Rafael Nadal battles David Goffin in the night session.
12 January 2018
Grigor Dimitrov is intent on seizing the moment and ushering in a new era of men's tennis ... More
11 January 2018
Days out from the Australian Open, Simona Halep is investing the work befitting a world No... More
12 January 2018
Juan Martin del Potro has given hope that he can dominate in his first Australian Open app... More