Zverev Defies The French Crowd Again

Open Sud de France, Montpellier

Men’s Semifinal: [14] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs. [21] Alexander Zverev (GER)

They met once before and despite the fact that Zverev won the first set, he lost the match in three sets. He was hoping that history was not about to repeat itself today; yet, things looked grim after he dropped the first set in a tiebreak despite playing well.  Tsonga was playing so brilliantly and Zverev, who continued to be emotionally rattled by the lack of the hawk-eye technology and the presumed poor line officiating was often agitated.  Could he shake off his frustration long enough to play the brilliant tennis he is capable of to get the upset?

I watched this match and felt that there was no way Zverev was going to win this encounter; however, I am happy to say he proved me wrong.  It was Tsonga who folded under the pressure of the French crowd’s expectation.  Zverev showed me once again that he is growing into the expectation of the world and carrying the burden well. Despite a few mental lapses throughout this match, he was the more mentally mature player today and showed it when he came back from a set down to upset the number two seed and home favorite, 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4.



Garanti Koza Sofia Open, Bulgaria

Men’s Semifinal: [11] David Goffin (BEL) vs. [16] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)

Bautista Agut led their head-to-head 2:0; yet, he knew victory was not a given.  Bautista Agut played a very nervous match, more afraid of losing than of winning.  Thus, despite taking the lead in the third set, I was not surprised that he lost the match.  Goffin demonstrated his mental strength when he shook off the loss of the first set and the break in the third to get his first victory over the Spaniard.  He won 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(3) and his reward is to play crowd favorite, Grigor Dimitrov, in the final.

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