World no. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas withdrew from the ATP Finals ahead of the second round-robin clash against Casper Ruud, still struggling with an ongoing elbow injury. Stefanos retired in his opening match at the Paris Masters against Alexei Popyrin to preserve energy for Turin, but he could not endure the pain and embrace the remaining two encounters following the opening round-robin loss to Andrey Rublev.
The Greek was far from his best against the Russian, suffering a 6-4, 6-4 loss in an hour and 31 minutes and not looking good on the court. Cameron Norrie will replace Stefanos in Turin, entering the ATP Finals as the second alternate after Jannik Sinner and facing Casper Ruud tonight.
Tsitsipas has not played well after Cincinnati, failing to reach the semi-final at the season's remaining events and finishing the year earlier than expected due to an injury that has been bothering him since 2014.
Stefanos Tsitsipas withdrew from the ATP Finals due to an elbow injury.
Rublev played on a high level with his first serve and forehand to leave Tsitsipas behind, as the Greek made too many errors while struggling to find the rhythm.
Stefanos saved three break chances in the encounter's opening game before Andrey earned a precious break at 2-2. The Russian cemented the lead with an ace in game six and fired a service winner next time on serve to forge a 5-3 advantage.
Stefanos served well after that loose service game, which did not help him on the return, as Andrey clinched the opener with an ace at 5-4 after 42 minutes. Tsitsipas defended a break opportunity in the second set's opening game and struggled at 1-1 before holding after four deuces to remain on the positive side.
Like the opening set, Rublev broke the opponent in the fifth game and opened a 3-2 gap that moved him closer to the finish line. The Russian secured the sixth game with a service winner and landed another at 4-3 to maintain the lead.
Tsitsipas had no troubles bringing the ninth game home at love, and he had to create the damage on the return in the next one if he wanted to extend the duel. Instead, Rublev held with a lucky net cord winner to emerge at the top and make a winning start.