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Tennis • Paris • Zverev Survives In Five Sets Again • Joins Djokovic In Fourth Round Of French Open • Roland Garros

Alexander Zverev of Germany plays Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina during their men’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 01 June 2018. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BLUMBERG

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Alexander Zverev came dangerous close to another premature exit at a major, but this time he recovered from the brink of what would have been a brutal loss. Zverev saved one match point before surviving Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in three hours and 54 minutes.

 

The world No. 3 trailed 4-2 in the fourth, trailed 0-40 while serving at 4-4 in the fourth, watched Dzumhur serve for the match at 6-5 in the fourth, and faced a match point at 4-5, ad-out in the fifth.

 

Zverev is now one win away for reaching the quarterfinals of a slam for the first time in his otherwise illustrious career.

 

“I’m trying to win matches,” the 21-year-old German Commented. “If it takes me three sets, great. If it takes me five sets, that’s also great. But I’m trying to win. That’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter how long it goes. It doesn’t matter how much time I’ll spend on court. It doesn’t matter if it goes 9-7 in the fifth or it goes 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. For me is the same.

 

“It was great,” he said of the atmosphere on Court Philippe Chatrier. “I mean, the French crowd always is very loud, very energetic. It’s a little bit like the Italian crowd and I love playing in Italy. I love loud courts; loud crowds. It was pretty full the whole match and actually a lot of excitement in the match. So it was a great win, but also, you know, being out there was very special.”

 

“It was really special, special match for me,” Dzumhur assured. “The whole stadium was just amazing, and I just felt that energy from the crowd. And I really liked it. I enjoyed the whole match. Unfortunately, I had chances; didn’t use it. Didn’t win this match. But I’m pretty much sure that I will take more from this loss than any other losses, and I will try to get back as soon as possible.”

 

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during their men’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 01 June 2018. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

Novak Djokovic also advanced to the last 16 by scraping past Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 6-2 in three hours and 48 minutes. Djokovic endured a mid-match hiccup that included a racket destruction in the second-set ‘breaker, but he ended up producing some of his best tennis of the year

 

“I think it was a great fight, almost four hours,” the Serb said. “Bautista Agut, he’s not going to hand you the win. You have to deserve it. You know, for me, not having so many matches in the last period, this is great. I mean, of course I don’t want to play four, five hours every match, but I think it was a great test. I had to earn my victory. Last set was actually the best set that I have played so far in the tournament. I don’t feel too exhausted. That’s the good news, as well. I’m just looking forward to next challenge.”

 

“I had my chance in the third set, and, well, I couldn’t make it,” Bautista Agut lamented. “And when you play against a great champion, you don’t have many opportunities. he is a great champion. He is one of the best tennis players in the history. And, of course, if he keeps pushing like this and fighting, as always he did, he will be on the top again.”

 

Fernando Verdasco, Dominic Thiem, Marco Cecchinato, and Kei Nishikori joined Djokovic and Zverev in the fourth round.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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