Moselle Open, France
[CR43] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs. [CR79] Alexander Zverev (GER)
Zverev got off to a great start; he served well and stayed with Verdasco in the first set. In the tiebreak, he was dominant, allowing Verdasco a paltry two points. Thus, he had the momentum going into the second set, against a player who can have moments of brilliance followed by periods of horrendous play. Zverev had numerous opportunities to break back and potentially win this match. Unfortunately, he was unable to and that is something he will have to work on as his career progresses. He will also have to learn to recognize when it’s appropriate to go for his shots and realize that sometimes, it is wisest to just get the ball back in play.
In the second and third sets, Zverev started to struggle with his serve. His mobility seemed hampered. I am not sure if his left knee was an issue; however, Verdasco had him running quite a bit and he appeared just a tad slower. He squandered too many break opportunities and that allowed Verdasco to find his range and rhythm, which was disastrous for Zverev. It was not the performance he wanted I am sure. You could see his frustration mounting as the match drew to a close and he was unable to break back. Verdasco moved into the second round with the 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-3 defeat of the German teenager. This was a tough loss for our spotlight player, especially after he won the first set tiebreak so convincingly.