Marin Cilic (CRO) vs.  Alexander Zverev (GER)
Their head-to-head was tied 1:1 going into this match. Three of their four sets played were tiebreaks; thus, I expected this encounter would be a battle. Cilic won their first encounter; however, Zverev is proving that he is a fast learner and he made the adjustments needed to win their second meeting. I was curious to see if Zverev would be able to build on that victory. He is bounding up the rankings and his goal of cracking the top twenty by the end of this season is within reach. Things did not start well for the young German and Cilic quickly ran away with the first set 6-3.
Yet Zverev is growing in confidence and the recent win of his first ATP World Tour singles title has added a new level of belief to his game. He is fitter and that helps him stay longer in the rallies and he is much smarter about his shot selection. He is also much stronger mentally and has learned to fight through the rough patches when things are not going as planned; thus, he made the adjustments in the second and third sets. The result was a comprehensive beat down of the former US Open Champion in the third set. Zverev continues his impressive late season charge and after his defeat of John Isner yesterday, today’s 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory has to convince everyone in the draw that he must be taken very seriously. His next opponent is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and that will be a stern test for the teenager. Will he continue to roll over his opponents?
BTW: by virtue of advancing to the third round, Zverev has gained enough points to propel him into the top 20.
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