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Zverev Cruises, Tsitsipas Takes Down Medvedev to Reach French Open Tennis 2021 Semifinals

Alexander Zverev of Germany serves during his quarter final match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 08 June 2021. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BLUMBERG



By Ricky Dimon

Alexander Zverev was one set away from bowing out of the French Open in the first round. Fast forward one week and he now finds himself in the semifinals for the first time in his career.

Since falling into a two-set hole at the hands of fellow German Oscar Otte, Zverev has extended his streak to 15 consecutive sets won by most recently crushing Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 during quarterfinal action on Tuesday evening. The world No. 6 got through a roller-coaster first set that featured seven service breaks and then dominated the rest of the way to advance in just one hour and 36 minutes.

“It was obviously nothing that I planned,” Zverev said of going down two sets in his first-round match. “I don’t want to go down two sets to love. But it was nice to come back from that when I needed to. Also my opponent played well. He had three (qualifying) matches before. I’m also somebody that does not necessarily play his best tennis in the first round. I’m somebody that develops my game during the tournament.

Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts during his quarter final match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 08 June 2021. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BLUMBERG



“After the first round, it kind of started to go very smoothly. I’m happy about that.”

Interestingly, Stefanos Tsitsipas lost the first two sets of his 2020 French Open campaign and ended up going all the way to the semifinals.

Zverev has accomplished the same feat and will now look to go one step farther, but it is Tsitsipas who stands in his way after the Greek got the best of Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-5 in Tuesday’s nightcap. Previously 1-6 lifetime in the head-to-head series, Tsitsipas scored a much-needed win over his rival and nemesis after two hours and 19 minutes of play.

The world No. 5 for the most part gave Medvedev a clay-court lesson from start to finish, so the outcome probably wouldn’t have changed even if the second seed had forced a third-set tiebreaker.

But he didn’t.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia reacts during his quarter final match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 08 June 2021. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON



Medvedev’s hopes were dashed when he delivered an underarm serve down match point at 5-6, ad-out, to which Tsitsipas responded by easily blasting a backhand return winner.

And just like that, Tsitsipas is back in the semis. The 22-year-old came within one set of the title match last fall but ended up losing to Novak Djokovic in five. He can reach a Grand Slam final for the first time when he goes up against Zverev on Friday.

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