Zverev challenges the crowd, then celebrates
01/19/2022 1:37 PM
Alexander Zverev takes on the next hurdle on his way to his long-awaited first Grand Slam title: Germany’s top tennis player won the Australian Open relatively quietly against local champion John Millman. Spectators mock Zverev.
Alexander Zverev was not irritated by the cheers of the Australian outsider and confidently reached the third round of the Australian Open. With 6:4, 6:4, 6:0 against John Millmann, German Athlete of the Year in Melbourne abruptly ended the hopes of a tennis coup for the domestic tournament participant. Unlike fellow Germans Yannick Hanfmann, Dominic Kupfer and Oscar Otti after their second round defeat, Zverev is playing for a place in the round of 16.
“I’m in good shape, I won,” said the 24-year-old. “I can really say you’ve been locked out for two years,” Zverev added. “The atmosphere was great and I hope the volume will be louder in the next matches.” His success in saving energy in the second round against the world number 89. Proving the maturity he has gained in the meantime, he has not exhausted himself in the first rounds of Grand Slam tournaments as in previous years. This would also help him realize his greatest desire: to win the final. For now, the Hamburg player will continue against Radu Albot of Moldova on Friday, as well as against the world number 124. He shouldn’t have to summon his full potential with a long shot.
This last duel began on the third day of the tournament at Rod Laver Arena with three losses in three matches, which is unusual in men’s tennis. Zverev quickly shook off short-term uncertainty in his service game and was on top. The hits for third place in the world rankings came better from the baseline than in the first round in Germany’s duel with Daniel Altmaier. “Sasha played well. He’s not finished yet,” said Eurosport expert Boris Becker. Two years ago, Millman had a crazy duel with Roger Federer in Melbourne, which the Swiss won only thanks to six straight points in the fifth set tiebreak.
Zverev also struggled against Millman at the 2019 French Open at a distance. This time Zverev was not even far behind. In the second round, the break was enough for him to make the score 2-1. The semi-finalist in Melbourne 2020 saved two accurate breakers. Although he made five double faults, he got the second set. After that it was clear that he was superior both physically and comically.
Nadal praises German opponents
Only in the quarter-finals did Zverev face the Spanish world player Rafael Nadal, whom Hanfmann lost in the Karlsruhe qualifiers 2:6, 3:6, 4:6. “I asked Sasha how I would beat him now to get him out of the way. It didn’t work out, Sasha has to do That’s himself,” said No. 126 in the world and ranked his ATP Cup teammate for this possible duel as “a little favourite”. In light of his defeat, Hanfmann said he needed the distance to be proud of his valiant performance. “I know he’s dangerous,” Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam winner from Mallorca, said farewell to him with encouraging praise. “I think his level in tennis was much higher than where he is in the rankings today.”
As Hanfmann, Dominic Kupfer of the Black Forest (4:6, 3:6, 6:7 (4:7) against Riley Opelka of the United States) and Oscar Otti of Cologne (6:2, 2:6, 3:6 1: 6 against Italian Lorenzo Sonego). Kevin Krawetz and Andreas Mies were happy to compete again in the Grand Slam tournament after more than a year and advanced to the second round thanks to a 7:6 (9:7), 6:3 against Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni one. .