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Zverev defeats Cilic in ATP Finals opener

Nitto ATP World Tour Finals - Day Two

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Alexander Zverev of Germany celebrates during his singles round robin match against Marin Cilic of Croatia during Day Two of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 12, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

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LONDON --Alexander Zverev came from a break down in both sets to defeat Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1) at the ATP Finals on Monday.

Facing each other in their opening match for a second straight year, Zverev produced the slightly steadier tennis in an error-strewn contest to extend his record against Cilic at the O2 Arena to 2-0.

The fifth-seeded Cilic broke at the first opportunity for 2-0 but then wasted break points in the German’s next two service games, before dropping his own serve when attempting to close out the set at 5-3.

Having struggled to that point, the third-seeded Zverev found some consistency to take the tiebreaker.

In the second set, once more fell he behind at 4-3.

However, Cilic, who amassed 46 unforced errors, allowed Zverev to break straight back.

Despite saving a match point at 4-5, Cilic wilted in another tiebreaker to fall to 1-9 across his four appearances at the tournament.

In the late match, top-ranked Novak Djokovic begins his campaign for a sixth ATP Finals title against American debutant John Isner.