American No. 2 seed Sebastian Korda took advantage of the unique format of the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, rallying from two sets down to defeat eighth-seeded Frenchman Hugo Gaston 3-4 (2), 3-4 (6), 4-0, 4-3 (3), 4-0 in the first day of group play Tuesday in Milan, Italy.
The ATP Finals employ a special first-to-four, best-of-five format, meaning four games win a set instead of the usual six.
Korda smashed 10 aces while saving nine of 10 break points. Gaston saved 13 of 18 break points.
In Group A, top seed Carlos Alcaraz of Spain swept Danish No. 7 Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune 4-3 (6), 4-2, 4-0. No. 4 seed Brandon Nakashima of the U.S. beat fifth-seeded Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo 4-1, 3-4 (3), 4-1, 4-0.
Korda is 1-0 in Group B along with No. 6 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina, who upset No. 3 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy 4-1, 4-1, 3-4 (5), 4-3 (5).
Entering the draw as a wild card, Andy Murray of Great Britain won his first-round match over Norwegian Viktor Durasovic 6-1, 7-6 (7) on Tuesday in Sweden.
Murray won 33 of his 39 first-service points. He led the second-set tiebreak 5-2 at one point before Durasovic clawed back and had set point at 7-6. Murray answered with three straight points to clinch the match.
American No. 5 seed Taylor Fritz was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Egor Gerasimov of Belarus. No. 6 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan was less fortunate, retiring in his match against France’s Arthur Rinderknech when Rinderknech was ahead 6-1, 2-0.
Spain’s Pedro Martinez beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4), and Botic Van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands squeaked by Nino Serdarusic of Croatia 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
–Field Level Media