Sports

Alexander Zverev ends Grand Slam hoodoo against top-50 players

Alexander Zverev ends Grand Slam hoodoo against top-50 players

Damir Dzumhur left a poor kid in serious pain in his loss to Alexander Zverev.

Zverev, 21, who is seen as the main threat to Rafael Nadal´s expected coronation as champion for an 11th time, endured a nightmare outing on Court Philippe Chatrier that lasted nearly four hours.

Dzumhur finished with 51 winners - the same as Zverev - but 68 unforced errors and was broken nine times.

The tournament tends to attract players ranked in the 80-150 range, while a player in the top 10, such as Zverev, can gain direct entry to the top-tier ATP events.

Zverev played some courageous tennis to overcome that hurdle and was forced to break back again with Dzumhur serving for the match at 6-5 up.

"You know, I'm top three in the world now".

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"I will do everything I can to recover, as I said after the last match". In the victory, Khachanov won 78 percent of his first serve points and 61 percent of his second serve points.

World number 38 Khachanov accelerated away with the third set, earning a double break after Zverev missed a chance to hit back.

And it wasn't any better for one of the ball boys.

In a meeting between the two youngest players remaining in the men's singles it was the 22-year-old Khachanov who secured a decisive second break to win the first set. Khachanov has split his last six matches on clay court.

Following his three-and-a-half hour match win over the Serbian, Zverev became enamoured with the distinct British accent when radio broadcaster Jonathan Pinfield asked whether Roland-Garros could be a turning point in his career. The match took 23 games to be decided. But Dzumhur felt it was within his reach and also ran out to catch it. Why not? Just because you said it so nicely, I'm going to believe that now'.


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