Germany’s Alexander Zverev dismantled Marco Cecchinato 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 in under two hours on Friday to move into the French Open last 16 where he will meet Italy’s rising star Jannik Sinner.
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Zverev, who did not play any claycourt events following last month’s run to the US Open final, was dominant and grabbed two quick breaks to wrap up the first set after 25 minutes. Italian Cecchinato, a surprise semifinalist in Paris in 2018, improved his game to hold his serve as he attempted to move the sixth-seeded German around more.
Zverev’s unforced errors increased briefly and the 28-year-old Cecchinato, ranked 110th, earned his first break to serve for the set at 5-4. But he lost his cool and slammed his racket on the ground as Zverev won the next six games in a row including wrapping up the second set.
‘I know that with every round I have to play better and better, otherwise I will not have a chance.’
The German had no trouble clinching the third as he finished off his opponent with his third match point after an hour and 47 minutes. Friday’s performance was in sharp contrast with the previous round, where Zverev was taken into a five-set marathon by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
“I am definitely much happier with my game (than against Herbert). I worked on a few things yesterday. I was very unsatisfied with myself two days ago, but I still won,” said Zverev.
“So that was more important. I know that with every round I have to play better and better, otherwise I will not have a chance.”
Zverev will definitely need to be close to his best when he takes on Sinner, who has yet to drop a set on his Roland Garros debut. “He is playing incredible. I don’t think he lost a set yet, so he is somebody that is definitely coming up and playing really well right now,” he said.
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“He is somebody who has a lot of power. We will see how the match goes, but I feel like I am playing better and maybe I have a little more experience. But the young guys, they have no fear, no reason to be nervous, so it can go both ways.”
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