R16: [CR13] Marin Cilic (CRO) vs. [CR85] Alexander Zverev (GER)
They met once last year on hard court. It was a struggle for Cilic who managed to win it in two tight sets. Zverev was right there with him the entire match, a few anxious errors cost him that match. Today Zverev had his opportunity to showcase his improved conditioning and knowledge of his opponent’s game. They both were striking the ball with no hesitation. The winner would come down to the player that kept the errors to a minimum and played the big points better. Experience favored Cilic, how would young Zverev respond?
Zverev had a nervous start and was broken at love his first service game; however, he showed his improving maturity when he broke back immediately to stay with Cilic. Zverev went on to win the first set in a fairly comfortable tiebreak, out hitting Cilic off the ground. The second set almost went the way of Cilic; however, the veteran cracked under the pressure and could not serve it out. Zverev stepped up his game in the tiebreak and this was even easier than the first one. He outplayed Cilic to win the match 7-6(4), 7-6(1) and evened their head-to-head. It’s the highest ranked player that Zverev has ever defeated. Expect him to have many more as he continues to grow into his game. Zverev will face fellow German, [CR121]Michael Berrer, in the quarterfinals.