Alexander Zverev looks to match his fourth round of last year when he takes to the court against Fernando Verdasco on Saturday. Verdasco’s career best run came at this event back in 2009, where he made the semi finals – eventually losing in a marathon five setter to Rafael Nadal in a match many consider one of the best to happen at this tournament.
Verdasco still remains somewhat dangerous to the second tier of players and did pick up a shock win in four sets over Nikoloz Basilashvili to make it to this stage. The Spaniard is often good for at least a round or two with very few round one slam exits aside from Wimbledon where he has struggled greatly over the past 5 years.
Backed by a strong serving performance, Zverev was incredibly impressive in his straight sets win over Egor Gerasimov in round two. He won 86% of points on his first serve with 9 aces helping him keeping the Belarussian at bay. The only disappointment for him will be failing to serve out the match at 5-3 in the third set but it was not to be damaging for him as he broke at 6-5 to secure a 7-6 6-4 7-5 win.
Zverev is enjoying the lessened pressure that has come with the emergence of the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, with focus being aimed their way instead.“Last year I came in winning the World Tour Finals, beating maybe the two best players of all time in the semi-finals and finals. I just think there’s more young guys that are playing better. The attention is going towards them, as well, a little bit. It’s a nice feeling for me, but I’m through to the third round, I’m happy about that. We’ll see how the tournament goes.” he said. That could soon switch back to the German if he continues to show he can do it in a grand slam. It would be a disappointment if he were to exit against Verdasco, especially with an in-form Andrey Rublev hoping to face off against him in the fourth round.
Prediction – Alexander Zverev in four sets