Sinner survives Madrid scare from American Paul

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Jannik Sinner saved three match points in beating Tommy Paul 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-3. The American squandered two match points on serve at 5-3 in the second set, and another while trying to break at 6-5.

“It was a very difficult situation,” Sinner said after the three-hour match on center court. “I’m happy to be in the second round.”

The 12th-ranked Sinner has yet to reach a semifinal in 2022, but reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Miami and Monte Carlo.

The Italian next has Alex De Minaur, who beat Pedro Martinez 7-6 (2), 1-6, 6-3.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, coming off his maiden Masters final in Monte Carlo, got past Lloyd Harris after breaking late in both sets of a 7-5, 6-3 victory.

Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Fabio Fognini in straight sets to set up an encounter with Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who already has three titles this season: Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona.

The 18-year-old Alcaraz has been attracting as much attention as Rafael Nadal, who is expected to make his return from injury on Wednesday.

The practice courts were packed at the Caja Mágica tennis complex on Monday when Alcaraz trained with Novak Djokovic.

The top-ranked Djokovic is scheduled to debut on Tuesday against Gael Monfils, who comfortably defeated Spaniard Carlos Gimeno Valero 6-3, 6-0.

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