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Zverev defeats Cilic in ATP Finals opener

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LONDON –Alexander Zverev came from a break down in both sets to defeat Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1) at the ATP Finals on Monday.

Facing each other in their opening match for a second straight year, Zverev produced the slightly steadier tennis in an error-strewn contest to extend his record against Cilic at the O2 Arena to 2-0.

The fifth-seeded Cilic broke at the first opportunity for 2-0 but then wasted break points in the German’s next two service games, before dropping his own serve when attempting to close out the set at 5-3.

Having struggled to that point, the third-seeded Zverev found some consistency to take the tiebreaker.

In the second set, once more fell he behind at 4-3.

However, Cilic, who amassed 46 unforced errors, allowed Zverev to break straight back.

Despite saving a match point at 4-5, Cilic wilted in another tiebreaker to fall to 1-9 across his four appearances at the tournament.

In the late match, top-ranked Novak Djokovic begins his campaign for a sixth ATP Finals title against American debutant John Isner.

Top-seeded Barty withdraws from French Open warm-up event

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STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.

Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.

The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”

Wild-card entry Tipsarevic advances at Geneva Open

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GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.

Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.

Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.

Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.

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