BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz rallied to beat Jack Draper 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of the Swiss Indoors.
Alcaraz clinched with his third match-point chance, firing a forehand winner when following in a strong serve that left-hander Draper stretched to return.
The first Basel tournament since before the COVID-19 pandemic was intended to be Roger Federer’s hometown comeback on tour. But the Swiss great ended his career last month because of a persistent knee injury.
The 19-year-old Alcaraz and 20-year-old Draper had a combined age of less than Federer’s 41 years, and both were playing for the first time at Basel where he won a record 10 titles from 2006-19.
The 45th-ranked British player broke Alcaraz’s service twice and made just three unforced errors in the first set.
Alcaraz raised his game in the second set and forced two service breaks without allowing Draper a chance.
The victory was the Spaniard’s first on tour since winning his first Grand Slam singles title, the U.S. Open, last month. He lost in straight sets to David Goffin in a first-round match three weeks ago in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Goffin lost in Basel, beaten by 44th-ranked American Brandon Nakashima 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
The Belgian former top-10 player, now ranked No. 53, got a wild card into the tournament where he lost the 2014 final to Federer.