Alexander Zverev is in the quarter-finals of the French Open. The German number one prevailed 6: 4, 6: 1, 6: 1 against the Japanese Kei Nishikori in the night session of Paris late on Sunday evening and is the second German professional after Boris Becker to have at least been since the beginning of the Open Era in 1968 has made the last eight at Roland Garros three times in his career.
“I played incredibly, a very good match. But the tournament is not over yet. I hope I have three more matches,” said Zverev.
Zverev had already made it to the quarter-finals in 2018 and 2019, he never got any further in the clay court classic. His next opponent is the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, against whom he has a 2-0 record. However, the two have not yet met on sand. “I look at my performance. But he had a couple of really good matches, I’ll have to put everything in,” Zverev suspected.
Zverev was warned of Nishikori despite two victories most recently in Rome and on the way to the master’s triumph in Madrid. “This is the first big test. Nishikori is an absolute world-class man”, Becker said before the first serve at “Eurosport”: “On the other hand, I like Sascha so far. Today it is crucial that he has his power, with his bigger game takes control. “
Zverev awake from the start
Zverev succeeded brilliantly at first, the 24-year-old from Hamburg pulled away to 3-0, but then Nishikori came back with an extremely variable style of play and designed the first set openly. However, Zverev consistently used his break chance and dominated the second set even more clearly. The Japanese had less and less to oppose the power of the world number six.
Zverev seemed to have clearly drawn the match between two former US Open finalists in his direction and stayed on. He immediately took the service twice in the third set from the 49th in the world rankings, who at times did not seem to be in full possession of his powers. Suddenly Nishikori resisted again, but Zverev did not give up.
On Monday (around 1 p.m. / Eurosport) Jan-Lennard Struff (Warstein) has the chance to follow suit. The 31-year-old German number two will meet the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, who is in tenth place, and could meet the clay court king Rafael Nadal in a quarter-finals.
“Of course I want to reach the quarter-finals, of course I want to play against Rafa,” said Struff. Philipp Kohlschreiber (Augsburg) and Dominik Koepfer (Furtwangen) failed in their third round matches.
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