Zverev Comes Back From Brink Again To Make First Slam QF, Will Meet Thiem; Delpo-Isner Mon.
by Staff | June 3rd, 2018, 5:15 pm
  • 72 Comments

To reach his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal, Alexander Zverev has had to do it the hard way. The real hard way. The German 21-year-old was in trouble for a third straight match, but for a third straight time he pulled through from 2 sets to 1 down to beat Karin Khachanov 4-6, 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

“I’m very happy about being in the quarterfinals here, going the hard way, going long distance every single time and showing myself, showing everybody, that I can play for as long as I need to,” said Zverev.

“I started playing much better in the fourth and fifth set,” said Zverev. “[At the] beginning of the fourth set I thought, okay, I can turn this match around, especially when I saved a few break points.”

Khachanov had some chances in the second and again late in the match, but his forehand let him down.

“I didn’t win it today, but it’s a positive sign,” said Khachanov. “So hopefully next time I will win it… Match by match, I was playing better and better, and that shows that I increased [my] level. So with this [aspect], I’m really happy.”

Zverev becomes the first player at the French to win three straight 5-set matches since Tommy Robredo in 2013. And he’s come from two sets to one down three straight times, beating Dusan Lajovic, Damir Dzumhur and now the big Russian. Up next, will be a tasty quarterfinal showdown against Dominic Thiem.

The Austrian routed a sluggish Kei Nishikori early, then hung for a 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 win.

“I was playing very, very well in the beginning, had a great start,” Thiem said. “I played good tennis. I think he rose his level in set three and four. But at the end I’m happy with how it went today.”

Thiem is into his third straight French Open quarterfinal, with two semifinals the last two years. It was his first win in three tries over the Japanese.

“I just wasn’t there and maybe little bit nervous,” Nishikori said. “He was hitting very deep. And I kind of lost what I had to do on the court.”

Thiem leads Zverev 4-2 ahead of their Tuesday showdown.

“It’s going to be a very tough match against him. He’s going to be pumped. It’s his first quarterfinals. So he wants to move on, for sure,” Thiem said. “I hope I’m a little bit more experienced in this one.

“I think the match, especially in Germany and Austria, [is what] everybody was hoping for. So I think we can make it legendary, and that would be very nice.”

Novak Djokovic booked his spot in the quarters collecting his 200th career clay match win beating a Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m just taking it one match at a time, and right now, considering I played almost four hours in my last match, I felt pretty good physically today,” said Djokovic. “I had no problems to go the distance in long rallies and I won in the three sets against a player who is in form, especially for this surface. So that’s all positives for now.”

Djokovic on Tuesday will meet the surprise of the tournament, Marco Cecchinato. The Italian has never won a match in a Grand Slam but now the clay court specialist finds himself in his first career Slam quarter after stunning David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

“This is the best moment of my life,” Cecchinato said. “Maybe it’s a dream, because now I’m very, very happy for this match.”

Djokovic will be the big favorite on Tuesday.

“I have known of him for many years. I have practiced with him many times in Monte-Carlo,” Djokovic said. “He trained a lot where I reside, where I live. We trained a lot on hard court, clay courts. And we actually trained this year before the Monte Carlo tournament.

“For sure, he’s playing the tennis of his life. He won his first title recently… To pull out a big upset for Marco is quite impressive. Congratulations to him for a great tournament. And even though he’s not a seeded player, he’s still in the quarter-finals. He deserves respect and he’s got nothing to lose in our next match. So I’ll approach it very seriously.”

Tomorrow, four more quarterfinal berths are on the line.

Rafael Nadal will take on Maximilian Marterer. Kevin Anderson takes on Diego Schwartzman, Marin Cilic meets Fabio Fognini.

In the big match – literally – Juan Martin del Potro takes on John Isner in a rematch of their Miami semifinal.

MONDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Court Philippe-Chatrier – Play starts at 11am
Simona HALEP (ROU) [1] vs Elise MERTENS (BEL) [16]
Rafael NADAL (ESP) [1] vs Maximilian MARTERER (GER)
Serena WILLIAMS (USA) vs Maria SHARAPOVA (RUS) [28]
Marin CILIC (CRO) [3] vs Fabio FOGNINI (ITA) [18]

Court Suzanne-Lenglen – Play starts at 11am
Diego SCHWARTZMAN (ARG) [11] vs Kevin ANDERSON (RSA) [6]
Angelique KERBER (GER) [12] vs Caroline GARCIA (FRA) [7]
John ISNER (USA)[9] vs Juan Martin DEL POTRO (ARG) [5]
Garbiñe MUGURUZA (ESP) [3] vs Lesia TSURENKO (UKR)


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72 Comments for Zverev Comes Back From Brink Again To Make First Slam QF, Will Meet Thiem; Delpo-Isner Mon.

el_matador Says:

great fight by schwartz to come back in the match.anderson was making winners left,right,everywhere & serving for the match in a blink..but great fight by the little man to steal the 3rd..if only he had a decent serve..


el_matador Says:

I like this merterer kid..he doesn’t seem intimidated by rafa in the red dirt of paris!!..I think finally the mew wave of tennis stars have arrived in the form of zverev,shapovalov,thiem,merterer,chung..Hope they don’t disappoint like dimitrov,nishikori,raonic


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its great to see Novak in the quarters. Its true he hasn’t beaten any A-listers yet, but for his 2018, this is already a giant leap forward.

I’ve heard everyone here talking about how skinny he was, but I hadn’t actually watched him recently until this match. I was shocked. He looks ill. Its hard to imagine him going blow to blow for six hours against Rafa with that body. Hope I’m wrong, but I can’t recall any Slam challenging stars that skinny. Even Guga looked more muscular than that with his broad shoulders.

Boob toss still looks ridiculous, even more so from a guy who doesn’t have any body mass to give away. He should be running around the stadium with his hands out asking for food.

“Please! Pepe’s not looking. Are you going to finish that hot dog?”

It will certainly be interesting to see how it goes for him against Zverev or Thiem if he can get past Cecchinatto.


el_matador Says:

schwartz at it again..vamos!vamos!!


Anto Says:

Schwartzman is back from the brink to even the scores. Go Diego.


Anto Says:

Schwartzman has broken Anderson to start the decisive set. It seems Anderson is done, at least mentally.


Van Persie Says:

Just watching the scores from work now, wow, Diego is amazing. I was sure, he was out of the tournament after the first 2 sets. A shame , I cannot watch this :(


Anto Says:

Anderson broke right back. It seems he is not ready to give up. Bring it on.


Van Persie Says:

5-2 for Diego! Come on, one more game!!!


Van Persie Says:

Haha, well done, Diego :)


Van Persie Says:

Rafa-Diego QF should be. Nice


el_matador Says:

take a bow,schwartz..u looked like a challenger level player lost in the big stage in the first 2 & half sets..then to win the match..wow wow..I dnt care how many games u win against rafa in the nxt round..what u’ve done is amazing already


Van Persie Says:

Diego is a very proud man. He will not win against Rafa, but I assume, we will have at least a very competitive set. He will give his best, whit what’s left in his tank


el_matador Says:

@rvp
I hope so..he fought quite well against rafa at australian open but this is rafa’s court,rafa’s tournament


Margot Says:

Serena has pulled out, citing a shoulder injury. Boooo :(


Margot Says:

And well played Schwartzman! Absolutely fabulous come back.


Van Persie Says:

WhaaaTT?

I wanted to leave earlier from work, just to enjoy the show.

Serena, you COWard!!!


Van Persie Says:

She was just embarrassed to appear on court today, am sure.
No new injury there.


Margot Says:

^ Lol. She would’ve wiped the court with Shoutypova….as per usual…;)


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

Not this time. I am sure she was ashamed to lose today. OBVIOUS.

Shoutypova played better tennis than Godzilla at this tournament ;)


gonzalowski Says:

VP 8:06
“Boob toss still looks ridiculous, even more so from a guy who doesn’t have any body mass to give away. He should be running around the stadium with his hands out asking for food. ……”
😅😅😅


Van Persie Says:

Gonza,

Haha, that was not me, I was into other topics today ;)


gonzalowski Says:

oh sorry, it was TV 😅


chofer Says:

What Kevin Anderson did for the first two sets… well, I’ve never seen it before. I thought, in that form he coulb beat Rafa (no kidding) Serve, FH, BH, volleys! The works, people!!

Then, I got out to work. I know Diego is a fighter, but man. HOW THIS GONNA STING THE BIG BIRD!! Serving for the match, match points…

The only way is down.

And is up for Diego. But he’s friends with Rafa. Practices with him. Advantage Rafa. Super advantage. The first two sets of the South African… THAT I would have wanted to see against Rafa.


el_matador Says:

yeah chofer..the first 2 sets he was blastng winners everywhere from every corner of the court & I was cursing on the tv..but as we know,this level of play is not sustainable..I am quite sure he would not be able to replicate that against rafa


chofer Says:

Sure matador.

It’s not sustainable for such midget mind. A champion would find ways to sustain it. Diego has the heart the South African evidently lacks!!

But the first two sets… A masterclass in all-out aggression I have to think about the last time I saw that from ANY player.

Oh, well. Edberg at the US Open F in 91 did it for three sets. Enough for winning over Courier and being a champion. Rafa in RG, for sure. Federer in a couple of USOpens finals. I mean, THAT level.


chofer Says:

Sampras to Agassi in US Open F 1990…

The losses to Safin and Hewitt for Sampras in 2000, 2001 doesn’t count. He played like crap.

People I need matches that one player is in the zone and that the rival can do absolutely nothing! Dig your memory!

Kevin Anderson the first two sets. Please, if you can watch that in its entirety. It doesn’t happen everyday. Not even among champions.

I was in awe. Even though I was supporting Diego, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’ve never seen Anderson playinh like that. And on clay! WTF?? Forget the US Open! This was some God-like level. I’m not exaggerating!

Then, of course, I had to leave.


Giles Says:

Gonza. 9.48 am. Lolol


chofer Says:

Oh, shit! 95% humidity. That won’t certainly help Delpo. He hates it!! Really bad for damaged bones!!


el_matador Says:

thinking of that level chofer..federer 5th set against rafa at last years australian open..I think that set established roger’s legacy once & for all
oh & delpo against rafa at us open semi & nalbandian(my GOAT) against rafa at paris masters final


chofer Says:

Yaeh matador.

But I mean an entire match. An Rafa was not at his best at the Us Open (a Delpo supporter, not a blind fan:))

Nalbandian at Madrid and Paris 2007 ahainst Rafa, I’ll take it. Unplayable.


el_matador Says:

delpo serve is bang average compared to other “big men”


RZ Says:

Quick bracket update: Anto is holding on to his lead. I’m a few points behind in 2nd and Kimberly is 3rd. All 3 of us had chosen Goffin to make the semis, so his loss won’t affect our placements. But there are differences in the other semifinalists so a lot will ride on the Zverev-Thiem match and on how DelPo and Cilic do.


Daniel Says:

Indeed, Looks like Serena was not ready mentally and wouldntt want to lose if not at her best.

Great effort for Schwartz.

Impressive by Cilic’s results on clay. The QF match with DelPo should be a blast.

Cilic beat Nadal in AO this year so it would be interesting if they play in semis also. Either, way will be a very differnte match for Nadal facing a big hitter with big serve in semis.


chofer Says:

Delpo serve average is good. Not today.


skeezer Says:

“Indeed, Looks like Serena was not ready mentally and wouldntt want to lose if not at her best.”
Uh? She got her injury from her doubles match with her sister prior. No “mental” readiness problem. Her only mistake coming into this match was she probably overplayed coming back, as this injury is typical of overplaying


chofer Says:

Add the conditions to play now (slippery) don’t do any favors to big hitters and suspect movers. That goes for Serena as well as the Big Fellas.


Daniel Says:

Skeeze,

So that explain they losing 6-0 in doubles.


Van Persie Says:

Yeh, sorry Skeezer, you might be right and Kitty was injured today.

I was really looking forward for it. Not so sure Maria would have won, but would have been ballanced for sure. Who knows?


Van Persie Says:

Hapoy Delpo broke again.

Vamos DelPo! Hold now!


Van Persie Says:

Fogna might pull a Schwartz? He could. On his way to win the 3rd


RZ Says:

Agree with Skeezer – pectoral and abdominal injuries are pretty common for those who just return to the tour and play more matches than they have in recent months.

VP – love the “Kitty” nickname.


SG1 Says:

Match in the zone? Mac against Connors…1984 Wimbledon Final. How many UE’s did Mac have in that entire match? 4?


SG1 Says:

That ’84 match was the most one-sided one I’ve ever seen involving two all-time greats.


chofer Says:

SG1

Good one! Mac was virtually in the zone the whole year.


chofer Says:

Sure! I remember a beatdown Nadal gave to Rofer in RG final. Can’t remember the year. Payback perhaps in the Masters Cup.


chofer Says:

The masterclass Edberg did to Courier in 91 is on par with that Mac-Connors final to me.


SG1 Says:

As for Zverev, he’s young so hopefully the long matches won’t catch up to him but I have to think this is just toughening him up for Week 2. If I were Nadal, this is the guy I’d be worried about. Maybe a Fognini match up. Other than that, it’s smooth sailing for him.


chofer Says:

Borg did that to Connors too in Wimbledon 78, I think. And another one to Nastase earlier.


SG1 Says:

Edberg was lethal in that Final with Courier. Sampras’ dismantling of Agassi in the 1999 Wimbledon final. Sampras also killed Carlos Moya in a AO final as well.


chofer Says:

Sure, I’ll take Sampras maiden Slam over Agassi. For the “unexpected” thing. 1990.


SG1 Says:

Roger put a serious beat down on Andy Murray in a USO Final as well (2008 I think). I think that match was the best I’d ever seen Roger play in a final. He was ruthlessly aggressive.


chofer Says:

Sure, But I’s take the US Open final over Hewitt. That was not even a contest.


SG1 Says:

Sampras was truly incredible when he was on top of his game. Between the serve, the speed, the forehand, the athleticism, the power and feel etc., he pretty much impossible to beat when he was on. And he did it all with that 85 sq.in ProStaff in his hand. And Pete had quite a few moments in Slam Finals when he was in the zone which is really hard to do.


chofer Says:

Delpo won playing so so with the ultra aggressive and erratic Isner.

The good thing is that he can only improve. And has owned Cilic.


Margot Says:

Yay! JMDP saves tennis!


SG1 Says:

Fed’s win over Hewitt was masterful.


chofer Says:

Sampras is an underrated champion. I wath his first win live in Philadelphia 1990 against Andres Gomez and I remember thinking “he’s going to be the next Big Thing”.


chofer Says:

Yay, Margot!


SG1 Says:

Great for Juan Martin. He’s a dark horse in this thing but his forehand can definitely hurt Rafa.


chofer Says:

SG1

The thing he did with Hewitt is perhaps the most ruthless I’ve seen it in a whole match, a Big Match. He was so sure of himself.


chofer Says:

SG1

I don’t think so (as much as I hope so!) He needs to find his serve first.

A measure of a great player is winning even with your “B” game. Which is enough for now. Rafa deserves another gear or two.


chofer Says:

Ironically, the player of the day to me is Anderson. For the first two sets he would have won against anybody today. Pity a match is best of five:))


chofer Says:

Trivis for free. Former coach of Delpo from 2007-2013 (basically, the whole career) is Franco Davin, who now coaches… Fabio Fognini. I don’t like that. He knows too many things. Cilic could not choke this, could he? I thought Fabio had blisters all over. How come?


Margot Says:

Foggy looking very, very confident and Marin looking a bit wobbly. Let a fantastic chance slip in the third and hasn’t been the same player since.


Daniel Says:

The parts of Nadal’s match I watched he wasn’t serving particular well for his standards, a lot of second serves and he is making a few double faults as well. In semis and finals he may have more tourble when playing better returnes: DelPo and Djoko/Thiem/Zverev.

Cilic in trouble now, thought he was heading for an easy straight sets win.


Willow Says:

Daniel ive said it before i wouldnt be surprised either way if Nadal does or doesnt win the title , although aside from Djokovic none of the others have beaten him at RG over 5 sets which take some doing ….


chofer Says:

Nadal is in no trouble at all. Suddenly he plays a damm TB and he’s having “problems”? LOL. We’re talking about who could get a set off him! Even not playing lights out is better than the rest in RG. I hope I won’t have to convince anyone as of why!


Daniel Says:

I hear you, is just that his serve is not as good as it was in previous years. But his return game seems even better. Even if he gets broken here and there eventually he will break back. I believe nobody is able to play 4-5 straight games holding agaisnt Nadal in a single set, only Zverev and that 6-1 set in Rome.

Cilic rightens the ship in the end.


Margot Says:

Well played Cilic! He won thanks to the umpire! Cilic was wilting when the umpire gave him a most unfair time warning, meanwhile Fog had been smashing racquets right left and centre with nothing said. From that moment on Marin became a man possessed!


chofer Says:

Marin played really well in the last set. Onto a match with a longtime friend. I hope the weather will get better by Wednesday.


Willow Says:

Okie and Giles glad you enjoyed it guys

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