First round play got underway yesterday for [CR76] Alexander Zverev (GER) and he had an impressive victory. He defeated [CR58] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 60, 62. In the process, Zverev also delivered his second bagel on the ATP Tour. He handed out his first when he defeated Robin Haase with the identical score in the first round of the bet-at-home, German Open Tennis Championships in 2014. His performance at that tournament alerted me to his talent. He made it to the semi-finals; however, he lost easily to David Ferrer due in part to fatigue. Perhaps yesterday’s victory with the identical score is a good sign.
Maybe he will make it to another ATP Tour semi-finals; however, a potential obstacle in his path could be David Ferrer, the number one seed. Yet, Zverev is a much improved player since their first encounter and will look to change the outcome if indeed their paths do cross in the third round. However, I am bit presumptuous; Zverev must first get by today’s opponent, [CR41] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA). Bellucci can be a dangerous player, he proved that earlier this year when he won the first set against the number one ranked player, Novak Djokovic. Zverev is not lacking in confidence; however, he will need to maintain his focus and execute his shots as well as he did in his first round match if he hopes to move into the third round.