German stalwart Alexander Zverev entered the French Open fourth round for the fourth consecutive time. The No.6 seed will now lock horns with Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori for a quarterfinal spot on Parisian clay.
Zverev has had a rough week in Roland Garros so far. However, he has confirmed his Round of 16 place after power pasting qualifiers Oscar Otte, Roman Safiullin in the Court Suzanne Lenglen and unseeded Laslo Dere under the Philippe Chatrier roof.
Even though World No.6 Zverev needed to work hard to dismiss his compatriot(3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0) and Russian(7-6, 6-3, 7-6) in the first couple of encounters, he claimed a comfortable victory over Serbian(6-2, 7-5, 6-2) in the previous match.
“It’s not the first week we’re playing on clay. But, to be honest, I was very happy that I played on Chatrier, that we didn’t stop the match, that we played with a closed roof. So I felt comfortable today on the court,” Alexander Zverev said in the third-round match press conference.
The 24-year-old from Hamburg further added, “It’s important because the matches are getting tougher, the opponents are getting tougher, so I feel like now is when you need to start playing your best tennis to get through.”
“I’m Looking Forward To The Challenge”: Alexander Zverev on Nishikori Clash
Zverev leads Nishikori 4-1 in their head-to-head series. It will be the third meeting between the US Open finalists within a month on the ATP Tour. In the Mutua Madrid Open Round of 32 and Italian Open Round of 16, German stunned the Japanese in straight sets(6-3, 6-2) and three sets(4-6,6-3,6-4).
“I don’t know if I had his number or not, but Madrid was a fantastic match for me. Generally, Madrid was a fantastic tournament. In Rome, it was a three-set battle. We played for a very long time,” Zverev added.
In addition to this, former World No.4 Kei reached the Round of 16 in Roland Garros after overcoming Italian qualifier Alessandro Giannessi and No.23 seed Karen Khachanov in the unbelievable five-setters and Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen’s walkover.
“We played extremely long points. It will be a difficult one. But I think he’s playing well, and he has a few five-set matches under his belt. I think today’s retirement helped him a little bit from a physical standpoint. But, it’s going to be a tough one, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” the 2021 Mexican Open champion concluded.