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Carlos Alcaraz dumped out of Paris Masters after shock defeat to Safiullin

Carlos Alcaraz, the world No 2, has crashed out of the Paris Masters at the first hurdle after losing to Roman Safiullin.

The Spaniard had designs on ending his year on the regular tour with victory in the French capital but they were extinguished by the world No 45, Safiullin. The Russian, who came through qualifying, posted a career-best victory, winning 6-3, 6-4 in under two hours.

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Footage of Alcaraz giving Novak Djokovic the runaround in practice had gone viral in the past couple of days, but there will be no meeting between the two heavyweights on the main show court in the final Masters event of the season.

A routine night for Alcaraz looked on the cards when he broke Safiullin in the third game, but he was immediately broken back and his opponent then went on to take control, breaking again at 4-3 and then serving out the first set.

Alcaraz made another early move in the second set, leading 3-1, but Safiullin again responded and won five of the next six games to cause a big shock by the Seine.

“It was tough, since qualies I was not playing at this level but against Carlos you have to lift up the level,” Safiullin said. “Carlos was not the [his] best performance but I’m still happy I could win because he is number two in the world, former world number one and has two grand slams. It is tough to beat him even if he is not in the best shape.”

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