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Zverev enters week two at Wimbledon with his sights set on a grand prize

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Zverev enters week two at Wimbledon with his sights set on a grand prize

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Great Britain – July 3, 2021 German Alexander Zverev celebrates winning his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the USA REUTERS / Paul Childs

LONDON – Alexander Zverev feels that experience gained from deep runs in the majors will prove crucial in his bid to become Grand Slam champion one day after the German fourth seed reached the knockout stages at Wimbledon with a win over Taylor. Fritz.

Zverev beat the American 6-7 (3) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (4) on Saturday to reach Week 2 and match his best performance at the grass-court Grand Slam.

The German, who also reached the fourth round at the All England Club in 2017, narrowly lost to Dominic Thiem in the US Open final in 2020. He also reached the Australian Open semi-finals last year and the same stage at this year’s French Open. .

“I think experience plays an important role,” 24-year-old Zverev told reporters. “I think knowing how to manage your time, knowing how to manage your games, is a big part of it.

“It was something I needed to learn early in my career. I remember when a lot of people criticized me for this guy who played very well in the big tournaments, but never in the slams.

“I hope I have changed my position a bit on this. But of course the main goal is still to win them. “

Zverev took a step closer to that Saturday when he kept his unforced error count low and repeatedly tested the serve of the 31st-seeded American, who underwent surgery less than a month ago after sustaining a knee injury at Roland. Garros.

Break opportunities

After the first set passed without breaking serve, the 23-year-old Fritz improved his play in the tiebreaker to take the lead against Zverev, who failed to convert two break points.

The players traded service breaks in the second set, but Zverev took a second chance to level the match and then took the lead with a single service break in the third.

It was Zverev’s turn to play solidly in the fourth-set tiebreaker, and despite committing his ninth double fault, he was able to close out when Fritz hit a forehand long.

“Today was probably not the best game I played so far in this tournament, I just felt good, how comfortable I was, but I found a way to win. That’s the most important thing, ”said Zverev, who hit 45 winners, 19 of them aces, and kept his unforced errors at 25.

The German said he expected the Tokyo Olympics to be a “very special moment” for him, as he had to skip the last Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 due to illness.

“They are my first Olympic Games. I hope I have many more to come. I’m very excited, ”he said. “It is also my first time in Japan. It’s one of the places I’ve never been, so that will be exciting for me too.

“Of course, with the COVID-19 virus, it is very different. I think the rules will be very different from the normal Olympics. But I’m excited about it. I am excited to represent my country there. I’m going to do my best to win medals there. “

Next up for the German at Wimbledon will be Canadian 16th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who advanced to the round of 16 when Australian Nick Kyrgios retired with injury.

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