German wildcard Alexander Zverev continues to take Hamburg by storm, as he earned his third consecutive win at the bet-at-home Open on Thursday afternoon. The former junior world No. 1 had previously never won a main draw match on the ATP World Tour, but has since risen to the occasion and surpassed all expectations placed in front of him.
While he sits at a modest No. 285 in the rankings, Zverev played with the confidence of a player in the Top 50, as he began his week with a comfortable victory over Robin Haase. His second match against Youzhny was slightly tougher on the young German but he eventually pulled through unscathed for a 7-5, 7-5 victory in two hours time. It was the first time a 17 year old had beaten a Top 20 player on the ATP World Tour in more than 10 years.
On Thursday afternoon, Zverev faced his toughest test yet, as he failed to serve out the match against Santiago Giraldo with a break advantage. He would eventually regain his composure and close out the match in the tiebreaker, which showed experience and will power unheard of for his age.
“He’s a tough player and a really tough competitor,” said Zverev. “He got the break when I was serving at 5-4 and I just had to focus and play my game. Luckily, I got through in two sets.”
According to ATPWorldTour.com, Zverev is the first 17-year-old to reach the quarter-finals at an ATP World Tour 500 tournament since Rafael Nadal reached that stage of the 2004 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.