LONDON: It proved quite a day for ending losing streaks at the ATP Finals on Monday as Alexander Zverev tasted the first victory over Rafael Nadal after Stefanos Tsitsipas got the better of Russian bogeyman Daniil Medvedev.
Both Zverev and Tsitsipas walked out on the huge O2 Arena with 0-5 career records against their opponents but they turned the tables with a couple of dazzling displays.
Tsitsipas beat Medvedev 7-6(5) 6-4 before Germany’s Zverev, the surprise title winner last year, thumped an out-of-kilter Nadal 6-2 6-4 to seal a rare hat-trick.
He might not have won a Grand Slam title yet but after beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the semi-final and final last year, he opened his defence by outplaying Nadal.
The Spaniard, who took his major haul to 19 this year, has a patchy record at the tournament. He has never won the title, appeared only eight times despite qualifying on 15 occasions and on his last visit, in 2017, withdrew injured.
The world number one refused to blame an abdominal strain picked up this month in Paris for his poor showing.