Paris, Jun 6 (IANS): Alexander Zverev registered a battling victory against Grigor Dimitrov and advanced to the quarter-finals of the ongoing French Open, here.
Zverev needed only three sets to move past Dimitrov on late Monday, but his 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory still packed plenty of drama, with the German battling back from a break down in the second set and surrendering a 3-0 lead in the third.
"I felt like at 3-0 in the third set I got very unfocused. I kind of thought the match was over before having it over, and I was not concentrating anymore, and my serve went missing a little bit, " Zverev said post-match, explaining why he returned to the court for some serving practice.
"So I just wanted to get the feeling of having that back, because it's going to be important for after tomorrow, I think," he added.
His victory saw him through to the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the fifth time in five years, and he will seek his third straight semi-final when he faces Argentina's Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Wednesday. The 26-year-old has reached nine major quarter-finals overall, with his best Grand Slam result a run to the 2021 US Open final.
Zverev opened in imperious form against Dimitrov, dominating the early stages of the match with powerful baseline hitting and just five unforced errors in the opening set. Dimitrov began to find his footing -- and his forehand -- in the second to build a 4-2 lead, but Zverev snapped back by winning seven straight games to move to the brink of victory.
The German's charge was aided by untimely errors from Dimitrov, who struggled with consistency throughout the match and finished with 50 unforced errors. That was again the case down the stretch, as Zverev rattled off the final three games of the match after Dimitrov roared back from 0-3 to level the final set.
The Bulgarian was a constant threat on return but only converted on two of his 16 break chances in the two-hour, 17-minute match. Zverev was far more efficient, claiming seven of 15 break points.
On the other hand, Argentina's Etcheverry booked his place opposite Zverev with a 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1 win against 27th seed Yoshihito Nishioka. The Argentine entered Roland Garros with an 1-5 record in Grand Slam main draws and has now knocked off three seeds in a row to reach the quarters, beginning with 18th seed Alex de Minaur and 15th seed Borna Coric.
"For me I have a lot of emotion right now. I think I am really, really happy. The best moment of my life," Etcheverry said in his post-match press conference.
"Of course, in the next round it's going to be tough. Sascha Zverev, I think he has a lot more experience than me, but I feel really good to play against him. I am playing incredible tennis this week, and I just have to focus on my game and try to do the same like I am doing every day," he added.