PARIS, May 25, 2016
Alexander Zverev was still in first round action at his Roland Garros main draw debut, as the German teenager’s match with Pierre-Hugues Herbert was suspended on Tuesday evening at 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 due to darkness.
The match resumed on Wednesday on court 17 and Zverev took the fourth set he still needed to win 7-5 in 51 minutes. The 19-year-old, who finished boy’s runner-up in 2013, hit 40 winners and capitalized on four of his 12 break point opportunities.
“It was important to gain a 2-1 lead in sets before you go to sleep, knowing that you only need to win another set to finish the match. Otherwise I maybe would have been still on court playing the fifth set,” Zverev told about the key to success.
“I love it here in Paris. The atmosphere was great, as there were also a lot of Germans who supported me. The French also know me a bit, as I reached the semis in Montpellier and reached the final in Nice this year. Playing against a local at Roland Garros is never easy, as most of the crowd is against you, but ok, it was just pleasant out there today as well as yesterday.”
Zverev finished runner-up to Dominic Thiem last Saturday at the ATP 250 event in Nice and couldn’t find much time to prepare for Paris.
“There was no chance for me to practice on the courts here ahead of the tournament. The match was my first time. I went to the practice courts and hit some balls with Struffi but it rained a lot and I only arrived on Saturday night. I took a rest on Sunday and started practice on Monday.
“I played some good tennis in Munich and Rome. After that my team and I discussed if I play Nice and we decided to do it, as it would give me rhythm. That I made it into the final gave me confidence for the Grand Slam.”
The German youngster will face with veteran Stephane Robert another Frenchman in the next round.
“I do not really know him. He has been on the tour for many years. I just hope that we can play on a bigger court maybe, as court 17 was really packed today with a lot people standing outside in the queue. He knows the conditions and the courts here very well, so it will be very difficult again.”
Zverev also appeared in the special adidas French Open style.
“The outfit is special and maybe does not look like a normal tennis attire but it is interesting to wear it on court,” the teenager simply stated and could meet Dominic Thiem in a possible third round clash again.
“Normally on the tour, we spend some time together during the tournaments. We get along very well. However, Dominic stays a bit far from me here in Paris, as his accommodation is in the city centre and I am pretty close to the venue. Hopefully both of us will win the next match, so that we can meet again on the court in a couple of days.”