Alexander Zverev stormed into the semifinals at Roland Garros for the first time in his career with an emphatic 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Tuesday. The German will next face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the final.
Zverev got off to a slow start against Davidovich Fokina and was broken in his opening service game. But he raised his level soon enough and eased to a straightforward victory.
On that note, here are three key takeaways from Zverev’s win:
#1 Alexander Zverev cannot afford another slow start in the semifinals
Alexander Zverev has made a habit of making slow starts in matches and he was once again sluggish in the early stages against Davidovich Fokina. The German struggled on serve and landed only 12 first serves in the opening set. He won just seven of those points, amounting to a 58% win rate.
On second serve — his weakest shot — his win rate was 44%. The German also coughed up three double faults and was broken three times by the Spaniard.
Zverev struggled for consistency from the baseline and committed 11 unforced errors. Suffice to say, he cannot afford a similar start in the semifinals against either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas, both of whom will be quick to punish the German.
#2 Alexander Zverev too powerful for Davidovich Fokina
Alexander Zverev took 49 minutes to win the first set, knocking the wind out of Davidovich Fokina’s sails. The Spaniard began to fade drastically as Zverev wrapped up the victory in one hour and 36 minutes.
The German needed just 47 minutes to take the second and third sets — a minute more than what Novak Djokovic required to win the third and fourth sets against Lorenzo Musetti on Monday.
While Davidovich Fokina made things easy for the German by committing 20 unforced errors in the final two sets, Alexander Zverev more than played his part, hammering 19 winners past the Spaniard.
#3 Well-rested Zverev could do damage in the semifinals
Alexander Zverev barely had to expend any energy in the quarterfinals. He will now go into the last-four encounter against either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas with plenty of gas in the tank.
Medvedev and Tsitsipas will do battle later on Tuesday in an encounter that could very well go the distance.
Zverev leads Medvedev 5-4 in their head to head and will fancy his chances of defeating the Russian if they were to meet in the semifinals. Meanwhile, the German has lost five of seven encounters against Tsitsipas, including their only meeting on clay in Madrid two years ago.
However, Zverev has been improving in each round in Paris this year and it will take a mighty effort from either Tsitsipas or Medvedev to bring his run to an end.
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