Zverev Hits Top Form, Ends German US Open Drought
23-year-old to meet Coric in quarter-finals
The fifth seed produced his best level on Louis Armstrong Stadium, striking 38 winners in one hour and 34 minutes to reach his first quarter-final in New York. Zverev was particularly impressive on serve, landing 18 aces and saving six of seven break points to keep his bid for a first Grand Slam title alive.
After the match, Zverev was asked to name the last German man to reach the quarter-finals in New York. The 23-year-old quickly responded with the correct answer: Tommy Haas.
Zverev, who has fired 74 aces throughout the tournament, has showcased impressive form across his opening four matches in New York. Prior to his victory against Davidovich Fokina, the 6’6” right-hander earned four-set wins against 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson, #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima and 32nd seed Adrian Mannarino.
Zverev did not reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final until his 12th main draw appearance at the level, but the German has now advanced to the quarter-finals or better in four of his past nine majors. The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion reached the last eight at Roland Garros in 2018 and 2019 and advanced to his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at this year’s Australian Open.
“In the third set, I saw that he slowed down a little bit, especially on his serve. He couldn’t push off that leg any more, but I think the first two sets were pretty good quality by me to be honest,” said Zverev. “There are still things to work on, but I am in the quarter-finals and that can only be a good thing.”
Zverev will next face Borna Coric, who defeated Jordan Thompson’s in straight sets. The 11-time ATP Tour titlist owns one win from four ATP Head2Head battles against Coric, including a second-round defeat at the 2017 US Open.
Davidovich Fokina was competing in the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor entered the event with a 1-5 tour-level record on hard courts, but claimed victories against Dennis Novak, 24th seed Hubert Hurkacz and Cameron Norrie to book his meeting against Zverev.
Zverev made a fast start on Louis Armstrong Stadium, dictating rallies with his forehand and moving to the net to finish points. The German converted two of his three break points and won six of seven net points before closing out the first set after 25 minutes with his fourth ace of the match.
After falling behind an early break in the second set, Zverev raced through six straight games to take a two-set lead. The World No. 7 put 92 per cent of his first-serve returns back in play to pile the pressure on his opponent.
With the finish line in sight, Zverev earned three further breaks in the third set as Davidovich Fokina began to struggle with his movement. The 23-year-old earned his first match point with great net coverage and responded well to an underarm serve to close the match with a forehand return winner.