Alexander Zverev got his ATP Finals campaign underway with a straight-sets victory over Croatia’s Marin Cilic. The young German was made to work hard for the triumph, running out a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) winner at London’s O2 Arena.
Cilic opened up a lead in the first set and served to take it, only for his 21-year-old opponent to break back at a crucial moment.
Zverez then claimed the tie-break but again fell a break behind in the second before hitting back to force another breaker.
The talented youngster, who has yet to make it past the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam but has been tipped for the top, was delighted to come through such a tough test. “That first set was key because against Marin you never want to fall behind.
He’s such a hard-hitting, aggressive player, when he gets confidence it is tough to play against him,” he said. “I wanted to fight back from every score, he was up a break in both sets.
I knew it was a very important match, you don’t want to start the group stage with a losing record. it was very important to get the win. “I’m happy with how I played and happy to build from here.”