Alcaraz loses first duel as number 1 in Astana

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz’s first meeting as the world’s best player ended with a straight-sets loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open on Monday.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first duel on tour since winning the US Open and reaching world number one.

“David has played very, very well. Coming back to competitions is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really difficult for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz recovered from a 5-2 deficit to draw 5-5 in the first set, before suffering a break against the Belgian.

“When you face the number one in the world on the biggest stage, a great crowd, the fire inside you gives you great power to bring out your best tennis because you have no choice,” said Goffin. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas similarly avoided losing. Russian Medvedev beat Spaniard Albert Ramos Viñolas 6-3, 6-1 and Greek Tsitsipas eliminated Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

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