BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — World number one Carlos Alcaraz turned around to beat Britain’s Jack Draper 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of the Basel tournament on Monday.
Alcaraz secured victory on his third match ball, firing a forehand off a big serve that left the southpaw Draper reaching for the ball.
The first tournament in Basel since the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to serve as Roger Federer’s homecoming to the ATP Tour. But the Swiss star ended his career last month due to a persistent knee injury.
The sum of the ages of Alcaraz, 19, and Draper, 20, is less than the age of Federer, who is 41. Both debuted at the Basel tournament, where Federer adds a record 10 titles between 2006 and 2019.
Draper, ranked 45th in the world, broke Alcaraz twice and made only three unforced errors in the first set.
Alcaraz improved his game in the second set and forced two breaks without giving Draper a chance.
It was the first win for the Spaniard since winning his first Grand Slam title last month at the US Open. He lost in straight sets to David Goffin in the first round three weeks ago in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Goffin lost Monday in Basel 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 to 44th-ranked American Brandon Nakashima.
The Belgian, who once ranked in the top 10 in the world, is currently ranked 53rd and received a wild card to participate in the tournament in which he lost the final to Federer in 2014.