Zverev reaches French Open quarters

08 June, 2018, 07:26 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Alexander Zverev Rafael Nadal French Open

Paris: Austrian Dominic Thiem destroyed a lacklustre and battle-weary Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday to reach the French Open semifinals for the third consecutive year.

Zverev, whose previous Grand Slam best was reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon past year, said he spends up to four hours each day working on weights and fitness in the gym. In all three of his five-setters at Roland Garros he has trailed 2-1 in sets.

With the win, Zverev ended his wait for a maiden Major last-eight appearance at his 12th attempt.

"Of course, for both of us I think we would have been very happy if we both went through this stage..." However, in the second round he was extended to five sets by Lajovic, eventually winning 2-6 7-5 6-4 6-1 6-2.

He added: "The first time I felt a pull was in the fourth game of the first set when we had a few great points, a lot of physical points".

"The first two sets were wonderful but then he (Nishikori) raised his levels", Thiem said.

Zverev's opponent today, Dominic Thiem, is usually the one accused of over-playing, and I still don't believe his participation in Lyon in the week before this event - after two clay Masters - was necessary, but Thiem is in the rather unusual position of hoping to exploit the accumulated fatigue of his opponent. Zverev's best is his backhand, a two-hander which though not as versatile nor as useful defensively as the likes of Djokovic's, Murray's and Nishikori's, is struck just about harder than anyone else's.

"I don't know if I'm going to play on grass", Djokovic, who won the last of his 12 Grand Slam titles in Paris two years ago, told reporters crowded into a small interview room after he declined the opportunity to use a much larger one.

After losing the first-set tiebreaker, she started ranting at her box and struck the ground with her racket in frustration.

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The statistics made bleak reading for Zverev - he finished with 42 unforced errors and just 19 winners.

Khachanov had some chances in the second and again late in the match, but his forehand let him down.

He overcame the unsafe Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets in the second round, for example, and passed an even more hard test Sunday from Kei Nishikori.

The Austrian routed a sluggish Kei Nishikori early, then hung for a 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 win. Cecchinato had never won a match at a major tournament until last week and, at No. 72, is the lowest-ranked French Open men's quarterfinalist in a decade.

He said: "I'm not concerned". Zverev is through to the quarter-final of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

The seventh seed has yet to appear in the final of a grand slam, but thinks he is in good shape as he prepares to face surprise package Marco Cecchinato - conqueror of Novak Djokovic - next.

"I'm young, so I might as well stay on court and practise a little bit".

"Then, you know, each game and each slide, I was getting worse and worse".

In July 2016, Cecchinato was one of three Italian players initially suspended by their national tennis federation for allegedly influencing the outcome of matches.

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