After Initial Hiccups, Zverev Enters Maiden French Open Semis


World No.6 Alexander Zverev brushed aside the challenge of Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 to secure a spot in the French Open semi-finals for the first time here on Tuesday.

Zverev will take on the winner of the quarterfinal match between second seed Russian Daniil Medvedev and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on Friday.

The 24-year-old German had a tough first set where his serve was broken thrice before he regained composure to down 22-year-old Fokina in one hour and 36 minutes.

Zverev is the third German to reach the French Open semi-finals in the Open Era, since April 1968, and follows the footsteps of tennis great Boris Becker, who reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 1987, 1989, 1991, and and Michael Stich in 1996.

Medvedev enjoys a three-match winning streak against Zverev, although the German leads the ATP head-to-head 5-4. Zverev recently beat Tsitsipas in the Madrid Open final for his fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy.

Fokina looked in control for a short while in the opening set where his drop shots wreaked havoc. However, once Zverev figured out the Spaniard’s tactics, things evened out.

Although Fokina broke Zverev at 5-3 in the opening set, the Spaniard was seen struggling on court, unable to match the German in speed and quality of strokes.

Zverev wrapped up the 46-minute opener, which had seven breaks of serve, when Davidovich Fokina struck a backhand into the net. The sixth seed then raced through the second set in 22 minutes with two breaks of serve and from 1-1 in the second set, Zverev won 11 of the last 12 games.

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