Carlos Alcaraz eliminated as soon as he entered the running at the Rolex Paris Masters

The Spanish world number 2, who had not played since his defeat against Grigor Dimitrov in Shanghai on October 11, in the round of 16, announced his participation in the Paris tournament at the end of last week, ready, he said, to “end the year in style”. But by his own admission he was “not 100%”, the sole of his left foot was painful, and this was seen at the Accor Arena.

A bad operation in the race for the place of world number 1

In difficulty behind his second ball (only 37% points won), Alcaraz gave the impression of never entering the game despite a break in the third game – an advantage lost in the process. Difficult, he only fought for one hour and 36 minutes against his Russian opponent (26 years old), from qualifying.

Safiullin, who is coming off a lost final in Chengdu (China) last month, the first of his career, was playing his fourth match since Saturday. He will face his compatriot Karen Khachanov, 16th in the world, in the round of 16.

With this initial defeat, Alcaraz is not doing well in his duel with Novak Djokovic for the throne of world number 1 at the end of the season. The Serbian at the 24 Grand Slams, who approaches Paris with 500 points in advance in the Race, the ranking established for the calendar year, must play his first match on Wednesday, against the Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry (31st).

The two men could then meet again at the Masters, the last major meeting of the season, which will bring together the eight best players in the world in Turin (Italy) in mid-November.

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