Zverev Finishes Season With A Win In Turin

Alexander Zverev (photo: Giampiero Sposito/FITP)

TURIN/WASHINGTON, November 18, 2023 (by Michael Dickens)

Alexander Zverev knew he had missed qualifying for the knockout semifinal stage of the Nitto ATP Finals by the time he took the Center Court at the Pala Alpitour in Turin Friday evening.

So, with a chance of advancing out of the picture, both the World No. 7 Zverev of Germany and his opponent, No. 5 Andrey Rublev of Russia, played for pride as well as money and ranking points to close out their respective 2023 seasons. It was over in an economical hour and 41 minutes and Zverev won 6-4, 6-4. He struck 10 aces, converted three break points and outpointed Rublev 72-62.

The victory was the German No. 1’s 55th victory of his comeback season following a horrific ankle injury suffered at the 2022 French Open semifinals, which sidelined him more than half of last season, and snapped a three-match losing skid against the Moscow native.

Despite sharing the same 2-1 record in Red Group play as World 2 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Russia’s World No.3 Daniil Medvedev, Zverev missed advancing because the others had better sets-won records.

Zverev, a two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion in 2018 and 2021, remained upbeat afterward in looking back on his week in Turin. “I have to look back on the week in a positive way,” he said during his on-court interview. “I beat Alcaraz and I beat Zverev.

“After the injury that I had, to be back here with the top eight players in the world, winning two matches, gives me great hope. I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been for next year.”

Meanwhile, Rublev, who lost all three of his group matches after reaching the semifinals last year, must have felt disappointed by his showing in Turin, but he still went 56-25 and won two titles – including the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters – while reaching six finals.

Around the Pala Alpitour

Defending Nitto ATP Finals champions Rajeev Ram of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain remained undefeated on Friday after beating winless Australian pair Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler, 5-7, 6-1, 10-2, in one hour and 22 minutes. The American/British duo combined for eight aces, won 79 percent of their first-serve points and outpointed Hijikata and Kubler 66-50.

The sixth seeds will face Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, seeded fourth, in Saturday’s semifinals.

What they’re sharing on social media

By the numbers

Reigning Nitto ATP Finals doubles champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury have won eight straight matches in Turin dating back to the start of the 2022 event.


“At this moment he’s in top form. I mean, this result proves it. So he can do everything.

“He can do serve and volley, but at the same time he can stay at the baseline and be very good. Some dropshots, slice, down the line, cross. He can do every shot and that’s why he’s a top player.

“I felt like in Vienna I made a good response to what he did in Beijing, but I still lost. I need to be even better, to respond better to his shots.

“I mean, here he played unbelievable, but he still lost two sets. That’s what I’m going to try to aim for: try to play like guys who won the set from him. I need to definitely be at my absolute best and better than today tomorrow.”

Daniil Medvedev of Russia, during his Friday post-match press conference after losing to Carlos Alcaraz, in sizing up his semifinal opponent, Jannik Sinner, whom he recently lost to in both Beijing and Vienna.