Confident opening victory by Alexander Zverev at the French Open. The German number one wins in three sets against the Austrian Sebastian Ofner and moves into the second round. Zverev’s next opponent is Sebastian Baez and Serb Dusan Lajovic.
Alexander Zverev entered the second round at the French Open in gentle gear. The Olympic champion clearly won his opening match against Austrian Sebastian Ofner in Paris on Sunday 6:2, 6:4, 6:4 and was never challenged. After 1:49 hours, Zverev converted his fourth match point.
“I usually start a Grand Slam tournament with a match over five sets and several hours,” said Zverev after the slight gallop. “But Sergi told me that I should do things differently today, and for once I listened to him,” said the German number one, referring to his new Spanish coach Sergi Bruguera.
On the other hand, the end came for a German trio. Jule Niemeier had to admit defeat on her Grand Slam debut 7: 5, 4: 6, 2: 6 despite a long and convincing performance by the American Sloane Stephens. Tatjana Maria clearly lost against the number 26 seeded Sorana Cristea from Romania 3: 6, 3: 6, Daniel Altmaier lost to the Spaniard Jaume Munar 1: 6, 3: 6, 6: 4, 3: 6. Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic have the chance to advance to the second round on Monday.
Zverev had everything under control on the Suzanne Lenglen court from the start. The 25-year-old played with concentration, but was never seriously challenged by the qualifier Ofner. After 31 minutes, Zverev got the first set, after just over an hour it was already 2-0 sets for the favorite.
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Zverev presented himself relaxed before the French Open. At the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, the German number one failed in the round of 16 after putting too much pressure on herself in the hunt for his first Grand Slam title. In Paris, his name hardly ever comes up when it comes to the favorites for the title. A circumstance that Zverev wants to use for himself. The start has been made. The 25-year-old now faces the winner of the game between Argentina’s Sebastian Baez and Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic.
After her surprising triumph at the tournament in Strasbourg, Kerber traveled to Paris with a lot of self-confidence. “It was the best preparation I could have wished for,” said the three-time Grand Slam tournament winner. “I don’t think I’ve ever played a tournament before the French Open. Now I’m going to Paris with a really good feeling.” But she doesn’t count herself among the favorites. “I think from lap to lap. I don’t have any great expectations,” said Kerber, only to then follow up with a mini declaration of war. “I want to play in Paris the same way I do here.”
Kerber’s potential successor Niemeier has shown for a long time that she can be expected in the future. For two sentences, the Dortmund native caused great difficulties for the former Paris finalist Stephens. Then she got problems with her thighs and was clearly restricted in her movements.
“Of course it’s annoying when you end up not being able to play your best tennis. But I can still take a lot of positive things with me. I’ve seen that I can keep up against such players,” said Niemeier after the duel with the 2017 US Open champion, her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. “My goal is now to be in the To be in the main fields of the Grand Slams and to survive a few rounds there, ”said Niemeier.