Tsitsipas retired with an arm injury as the badge failed in Paris.

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Paris:

French Open finalist Stefanos Setcipas was leading a long list of seeds to be knocked out of the Paris Masters on Wednesday after an arm injury forced him to retire from a match for the first time in his career.

The 23-year-old Greek-Australian was clearly out from the start of his second round match with the lucky loser Alexei Popieren and left a ghost after trailing 4-2 in the first set.

Tsitsipas, ranked third in the world, said he was more concerned about making sure he was fit for the ATP final at the end of the season on the tour.

“I’ve never retired in my life, and that’s what I had to do today,” said the Greek.

“Besides, I’m trying to be cautious for the next tournament, which is the most important thing for me.”

Tsitsipas declined to say what the real nature of the problem was, but said it had been a problem for some time.

Unlike Tsitsipas, fourth-seeded Alexander Xavier watched his match against Serb Dawson Lajovic, winning 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) in straight sets, despite struggling with a sore neck.

Earlier, US Open semi-finalist Felix Oger-Eliasim lost in straight sets to Dominic Coffer, who knocked out former world number one Andy Murray in the first round.

The 21-year-old Canadian’s frustration was heightened by the fact that a 6-3, 7-5 defeat also dashed his hopes of reaching the ATP final.

The ninth seed needed three sets to overcome Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager on Tuesday but there was no way back against the lucky loser Koepfer and eight double faults did not help due to Auger-Aliasime.

“Sometimes I fought with myself,” he said. “I was encouraged to have a good week here, so I’m definitely very disappointed.”

Taylor Fritz, who knows what it’s like to lose to Coffer at this year’s French Open, defeated fifth seed Andre Rubio 7-5, 7-6 (7/2).

A wide smile spread across the face of the great American, in stark contrast to the agony of pain as he stepped out of Roland Garros in a wheelchair and injured his knee in his defeat at the hands of Coffer.

Fritz is playing with British number one Cameron Nouri, who is in form in the last 16, when he defeated another powerful American rally, Opalka, 6-3, 6-4.

Hugo Gaston, the 103rd ranked French qualifier in the world, defeated 12th seed Pablo Carino Busta of Spain 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 7-5.

Gaston, 21, refused to compare his victory to last year’s French Open when he defeated Stan Wawrinka, but enjoyed the same moment.

“I had nothing to lose, it was very important that I play my natural game so I had no regrets at the end of the match,” he said.

“It’s good to have another chance to play here.”

Gaston will play the fast-rising Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz when he knocked out another seed, In Farm Jennik Sunr.

Alcaraz, who reached the quarterfinals of the US Open before retiring from a thigh injury against Auger-Aliassime, defeated the eighth-seeded Italian 7-6 (7/1), 7-5.

“I knew he was already going to be a top player when I played him on clay in the Challenger Tour in 2019,” said Alcaraz’s Suner.

Alcaraz and Really Suner will be looking to challenge No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Daniel Medvedev in the years to come.

Medvedev has dreamed of overthrowing Djokovic, whom he calls his friend, as the world number one at the end of the year.

The 25-year-old Russian – who shattered Djokovic’s Grand Slam clean sweep dreams in September’s US Open final – defeated Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka 7-5, 6-4.





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