Home Favourite Zverev Advances To Quarterfinals At Hamburg European Open
Centre Court roof was redundant again on another sunny and hot day in Northern Germany when Top 10 players Alexander Zverev and Fabio Fognini contested their second-round matches at the Hamburg European Open.
Zverev, who ousted his frequent 2019 rival Nicolas Jarry in his opening match to celebrate his first match win at the Rothenbaum tournament since reaching the 2014 semi-finals as a 285th ranked wild card, continued his good run of form this week with a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory against Federico Delbonis from Argentina.
The No. 2 seed from Germany sent down six aces, winning 71 per cent of his first service points to advance in one hour and 45 minutes.
Zverev enjoys atmosphere
“The energy and the love that I am feeling from this crowd is amazing. That’s why I came here this year,” Hamburg-born Zverev said after his win.
“I don’t think I played a bad game. I think he played an amazing game, the best game he played of the match. So mostly it was fine,” Zverev said of the 12th game in the second set, in which he missed to serve the match out.
“The most important thing is that I won the tie-break afterwards quite easily. You will always have games where you lose and games where you get broken, and it’s how you come back from that and I did well today.”
Up next for Zverev will be Filip Krajinovic. The 27-year-old Serbian battled past 2016 Hamburg champion Martin Klizan, who suffered from the heat and ran out of steam towards the end of the match. Krajinovic won 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-1 after two hours and 35 minutes.
Fognini to face Carreno Busta
Later in the afternoon, Fabio Fognini edged past German teenager Rudolf Molleker, who appeared in his first-ever meeting with a Top 10 opponent. The 32-year-old Italian broke serve three times to seal a 7-5, 6-4 victory in one hour and 21 minutes.
“The experience made the difference in the end today,” Fognini said. “He is a good player and had nothing to lose. I am happy about the victory.”
Fognini was forced to retire in his opening match at the Croatia Open Umag last week and hasn’t been back to 100 per cent since then. “I go day by day. It is important to recover well. In the morning I feel every muscle, but this tournament is very big, and I want to play as well as I can. It’s very good here. Ich liebe Hamburg.”
Fognini will next take on Pablo Carreno Busta, who returned to the Hamburg quarterfinals following a 6-1, 7-6(4) win over No. 7 seed Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany. The 28-year-old Spaniard, who struggled with a shoulder injury in recent times, outpointed his opponent 66-55 after one hour and 25 minutes.
“It will be very tough,” Fognini commented on his upcoming opponent. “I never managed to beat him. I will try to focus on my tennis and then we will see.”
Friday’s Centre-Court action will start at 11:30 am.