Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Alexander Zverev resilient in reaching 1st Grand Slam quarter-final

Rafael Nadal French Open Alexander Zverev GETTYRafael Nadal is back in action on Monday
Cassandra Gardner | 08 June, 2018, 07:25

Zverev says he spends up to four hours each day working on weights and fitness in the gym.

No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev finally reached the milestone of reaching a Grand Slam quarter-final, with a five-set win over ATP Next Gen's Karen Khachanov.

With the win, Zverev ended his wait for a maiden Major last-eight appearance at his 12th attempt. If you do, leave this match alone from a pre-match betting point of view, but if you feel that Zverev will be as fresh as a daisy, then Zverev at [2.56] would be a viable consideration.

Dominic Thiem will next face the German world No 3 after the Austrian avoided being taken into a fifth set of his own as he thwarted a revival by Kei Nishikori to progress 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4.

Thiem showed no mercy as he continued to dominate, racing into a 4-0 lead in a flash in the third set by mixing up his game expertly.

"Of course, for both of us I think we would have been very happy if we both went through this stage..."

Thiem had defeated Zverev in four of their six previous meetings on tour, however, the Austrian was seeking revenge after losing to his opponent in the final of the Madrid Masters last month.

"But I hope I can win more matches here".

The 24-year-old, back-to-back semi-finalist at Roland Garros, raced through the opening two sets easily as Nishikori recorded 16 unforced errors and struggle and was put on the back foot by Thiem's greater baseline aggression.

Keys prevailed 6-1 6-4 and hasn't dropped a set on the surface she finds the most challenging.

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"The first two sets were unbelievable, but then he raised his level and it was 50-50".

Former world No 1 Novak Djokovic produced his best performance on the tournament to defeat Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to book his place in the last-eight.

He has a 4-2 career lead over Zverev and perhaps more significantly, has won three of the four matches they have contested on clay. Incredibly, this was nearly replicated by Fabio Fognini, who looked down and out after two sets, only to take his match with Marin Cilic to a decider, which eventually was taken by the Croat.

The 13th seed admitted in the build-up that she had never watched Buzarnescu in action but quickly got to grips with the unheralded 30-year-old who was playing in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

"Today is a flawless example of what I have been trying to do, and I think it showed today", Keys said.

Pavic and Dabrowski will face Demi Schuurs and Matwe Middelkoop of the Netherlands in Monday's quarter-finals.

But marathon woman Caroline Wozniacki - she finished the New York City Marathon in 2014 - trailed Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (7-5) 3-3 when darkness halted proceedings at around 9:20 p.m. Paris time.

He said: "I'm not concerned".

The world No. 3 keeps surprising his audiences, but not as much as Italy's Marco Cecchinato, who shocked eighth seed David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

While Zverev still has time to make his mark at the highest level, Thiem wants to do better right now as he is almost 25 and feels that two French Open semi-finals in 2016 and 2017 might not be enough to quench his thirst.

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