Paris (AFP) – Alexander Zverev did not want to stay for long as he entered the quarter-finals for the third time at the French Open.
“I still don’t feel any champagne from the bottles on my head,” Zverev said after his impressive Round of 16 victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori. “The tournament is not over yet. I hope to have three more matches here,” the number one seed German said after quickly progressing.
Now against Spain’s Davidovich Fokina
After 6:4, 6:1, 6:1 against Nishikori, he will now face Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Tuesday’s semi-final clash. Even if this is still unknown to many observers, Zverev does not want to be underestimated. “He reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. So he can’t be a bad player,” Zverev said. “He’s probably playing the championship of his life.” Tennis legend Boris Becker paid tribute to Zverev. “Big compliment. It was a very mature performance today,” Becker said as a television expert at Eurosport. “So he made his way into the favorites circle.”
On Monday, Jan-Lennard Struff as another German had a chance to reach the quarter-finals in the French capital. The German second seed will meet Argentine No. 10 Diego Schwartzman in the second match after 11:00 am (Eurosport).
Zverev was up from the start for the night session at 9 pm despite the unusual start time. The 24-year-old immediately took the serve from Nishikori and then didn’t let himself be upset about losing his serve. Zverev limited the movement with his strong game, but he also benefited from the fact that the Japanese seem to have taken a beating a bit. Nishikori had particular problems with the serve, which Zverev used on another break, winning the set after 43 minutes.
Everything is under control, ranked sixth in the world. Strong, focused and dominant, he didn’t let Nishikori, against whom he had already won in the run-up to the French Open in Madrid and Rome, back in the game. The second set lasted less than half an hour, because Zverev made 6:1 perfect.
But even with safe driving in the back, Zverev did not calm down. A sign that he learned from the past. Last year, Zverev tortured himself multiple times through five-set matches that drained energy and then didn’t have more energy in the Round of 16 against Yannick Sener.
This time, Zverev kept his pace. He made a quick break in the third set and hasn’t been stopped since. After the Australian Open quarter-finals and tournament victories in Acapulco and Madrid, and now the quarter-finals in Paris. A sign of a good season, but that shouldn’t end at the French Open. The goal remains the first Grand Slam title of his career.
But for Roger Federer, the French Open is over. After a difficult four-set win over Dominic Kupfer, the 39-year-old Swiss announced on Sunday that he will not play in the Round of 16 against Italian Matteo Berrettini on Monday. After a break of more than a year and two knee surgeries, Federer does not want to take risks and protect his body for next season on the grass. After all, the classics at Wimbledon (June 28 – July 11) are Federer’s big target this year. After a week off, Federer wants to play again at Halle.
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