Alexander Zverev beats Brandon Nakashima to come back in the fourth round | ATP tour


Alexander Zverev is enjoying his second life at Roland Garros. After saving a match point and coming back from straight sets to beat Sebastian Baez in the second round, he overtook #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima in straight sets on Friday.

The German claimed a hard-fought 7-6(2), 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Court Suzanne Lenglen to advance to the fourth round for the fifth consecutive year in Paris. He reached the semi-finals last year and the quarters in 2018 and 2019.

“I think I raised my level today,” Zverev said in an on-court interview. “I prefer that [compared to the second-round thriller]. It’s much better for me. I’m not losing too much hair, I can still age,” he joked. The third seed then praised the crowd, who helped the match with a wave of Mexico.

A close fight featured just three breaks of serve, including an exchange of breaks midway through the third. Zverev saved a pair of break points in each of the first two sets, but lost serve for the only time after taking the lead in the final set.

A solid night of service ended in a return-dominated tie-break, as seven of the 12 points went against serve. Starting at 2/4 in the tie-break, Zverev locked from the baseline to pass the American, closing the match in style with a backhand winner – one of his 50 winners in the two-man contest hours and 48 minutes.

Nakashima, who earned his first victory on clay last month in Barcelona, ​​falls to 0-7 against the Top 20. His loss leaves three #NextGenATP stars standing in Paris: Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune.

Zverev, who could meet Alcaraz in the quarter-finals, advances to face Bernabe Zapata Miralles on Sunday. This will be the first ATP Head2Head encounter for the pair.

Spanish qualifier Zapata Miralles continued his dream run beating American John Isner 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 in a third-round thriller. The world No. 131 recovered from wasting a 5/2 lead and four match points in the fourth set to finally advance after three hours and 31 minutes. He is the first Spanish qualifier to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam since recording began in 1983.

The 25-year-old, who upset Americans Michael Mmoh and Taylor Fritz earlier this week, is making his second Paris appearance. The three-time ATP Challenger Tour champion lost to fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz in the first round last year.


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