After Dominic Thiem, Roland-Garros wondered if he was not going to lose another heavyweight on this first day of the fortnight. Alexander Zverev found himself in a mess when he lost the first two sets on the Suzanne-Lenglen against Oscar Otte. Often uncomfortable with his compatriots (he had lost three of his last four 100% German duels), tactically abused, the world number 6 had the merit of not destroying himself and was able to pick up the thread of his match to win in five sets (3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0).
“Maybe he was a little more tired than me, he’s not used to these long matches”, commented the German after the debates. He did not believe in saying so well. Oscar Otte had never played a five-set match in his career. However, it is one of the specialties of Zverev, who won Sunday for the 16th time in 23 matches completed over the longest distances, including a remarkable seven out of seven in Paris!). Once he got back to height, he probably knew he had done the hard part and it was confirmed.
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In the end, Sascha Zverev did not have to work too hard physically and, despite the five sets, he also spent less than three hours on the Lenglen (2h49). It is above all for his nerves that this introduction has been delicate. But the way he played in the second half of the game may at least allow him to come out positive, beyond just coming out of it.
If he had bowed, Zverev would have suffered the worst Grand Slam defeat of his career in terms of rankings. He has never bowed against a player ranked beyond 150th place in the world (Oscar Otte is 152nd at ATP). Since leaving the road in the first round at Wimbledon in 2019, Zverev has always reached at least the second week in the Grand Slam. He will face in the next round a player from the qualifications, Roman Safiullin or Carlos Taberner.
Alexander Zverev at Roland-Garros 2021
Credit: Getty Images
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