Carlos Alcaraz claimed his first career victory at a year-end event on Wednesday, profiting 7-5, 6-2 from a collapse from Andrey Rublev to stay in semi-final contention at the ATP Finals.
The Spaniard who lost opening group match to Alexander Zverev, finally got onto the win column after 73 minutes as his opponent melted down during a dip in his level.
ATP No. 5 Rublev 5 occasionally smashed his racquet on his knee and yelled out in frustration as Alcaraz slowly applied the screws.
Alcaraz beat his 10th Top 10 opponent of the season, a personal best, finishing off Rublev on a first match point.
“I have to play at a totally different level,” the winner said after victory on what he called an extremely fast hardcourt at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.
“This is how I have to play if I want a chance in this event. I had a good training day yesterday and it showed today.
“I did pretty well, I’m really, really happy with my feeling and y level. On this court you have to be more aggressive than your opponent.
Alcaraz with a 1-1 record remains in contention to struggle into the weekend semi-finals at the eight man season wrap-up; Rublev, 0-2 is all but out.