Wimbledon

Zverev wins battle of Wimbledon's rising stars

2018-07-06 16:06
Alexander Zverev (Getty Images)

London - Alexander Zverev avoided a shock Wimbledon exit as the world No 3 battled back to beat American youngster Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0/7), 6-1, 6-2 on Friday.

Zverev had just lost the third set when bad light forced play to be suspended late on Thursday evening.

But the 21-year-old German has plenty of practice at scrambling out of trouble after three times winning from two sets to one down at the recent French Open.

He staged another impressive escape act on Court One, winning the final two sets to move into the third round.

Zverev will face Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis for a place in the last 16.

"Stopping yesterday two sets to one down was not a nice feeling, but I came out today and knew I would have chances," Zverev said.

"I think the last two sets here showed my progress. I played well on clay, so it's coming together slowly.

"I'm preparing the best I can. This match showed I can't take anything for granted."

After enjoying the best Grand Slam run of his career when he made the French Open quarter-finals last month, Zverev is hoping to reach the last eight at Wimbledon for the first time.

He was beaten in the fourth round last year.

Following early exits for Swiss 16th seed Borna Coric and Canadian world No 25 Denis Shapovalov, Zverev's win was a boost for the group of young prodigies branded the sport's 'NextGen' stars by the ATP.

Like Zverev, the 20-year-old Fritz is a former junior world No 1 ear-marked for great things but yet to truly arrive at the highest level.

Fritz, ranked 68th, has strong tennis genes as his mother Kathy reached the Wimbledon last 16 in 1977.

But, looking for first win over a top five player, he let Zverev off the hook with a disappointing collapse.

Wimbledon results on Friday, the fifth day of the 2018 championships (x denotes seeded player):

Men

2nd rd

Alexander Zverev (GER x4) bt Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0/7), 6-1, 6-2

3rd rd

Kevin Anderson (RSA x8) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x25) 6-3, 7-5, 7-5

Women

3rd rd

Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) bt Madison Keys (USA x10) 7-5, 5-7, 6-4

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Katerina Siniaková (CZE) 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  alexander zverev  |  tennis
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