Johnson and Zverev Go The Distance

x395394             Citi Open, Washington

[CR16] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. [CR55] Steve Johnson (USA)

[CR73] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) vs. [CR96] Alexander Zverev (GER)

Both Johnson and Zverev had to go the distance today to win their respective match. It was their second consecutive three-set victory and in the process they each secured a berth in the quarterfinals. For Johnson it was imperative that he make the quarterfinals, since he did so last year and wanted to equal or better that result not only for his ranking but to get him closer to his first ATP World Tour singles final. He’s still two matches away; however, if he plays the way he did in the first and third set tonight, why not? By defeating Dimitrov 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 tonight, Johnson avenged his earlier loss at Wimbledon and evened their head-to-head, 1:1.

There is no lack of conviction in the teenager, Zverev. Defeating Anderson yesterday boosted his confidence even more. Zverev is looking to make his second semifinals of the season and this 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Dolgopolov is a step in the right direction. Although Zverev has transitioned from clay to the hard court surface without too many issues, he needs to avoid another three set match if he wants to get to his first ATP World Tour singles final. The emotional exhaustion of battling back from dropping the first set, coupled with the physically demanding conditions created by the heat in DC will take a toll despite his youth. His next opponent is Marin Cilic, is Zverev up to the challenge? He’s shown that he can make the necessary adjustments within each match and if he stays calm, why not?

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