© Filippo Monteforte/Getty Images

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev claimed his sixth consecutive match win with a victory over Hugo Dellien to reach the third round at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Zverev Sweeps Past Dellien In Rome Opener

German to face Nishikori for second time in two weeks

Mutua Madrid Open champion Alexander Zverev picked up right where he left off in his Internazionali BNL d’Italia opener, racing past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday.

Zverev won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome in 2017, and his fourth on Sunday at Madrid after sweeping World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Dominic Thiem and No. 10 Matteo Berrettini last week.

The German didn’t miss a beat in Rome against Dellien, who was seeking his first Top 10 victory (0-5) against the World No. 6 out on Pietrangeli. But Zverev continued his winning ways in the Italian capital, firing 27 winners and saving all six of the break points he faced to secure the win in straight sets.

You May Also Like: The 'Good Problem' Zverev Has In Rome

“I think it took a few games [to find my timing]. In the first game, the ball barely reached the net,” Zverev joked in an on-court interview. “It was obviously not easy coming from altitude [in Madrid] to sea level again, but I’m happy with this match. I'm happy with this win. Moving forward, of course I need to play even better, but for a first [match] this was a good performance from my side.”

Zverev will next face Kei Nishikori for the second time in as many weeks after the Japanese player received a walkover from 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta to advance. Zverev improved to a 3-1 ATP Head2Head over Nishikori after beating him in the second round in Madrid.

“In Madrid I played well against everybody, and I know I need to play just as well to have a chance,” Zverev said. “Kei is a great player, especially on clay. We’ve played in Monte-Carlo [in 2018] and in Madrid, and it’s 1-1 on clay courts. I’m looking forward to another one." 

The German needed a couple of games to adjust to the conditions in Rome. But once he found his footing he was relentless in his aggression as he reeled off five games in a row to open up a double-break, 5-1 and served out the set comfortably.

He faced the toughest challenge of the match in the fourth game of the second set. Up a break at 2-1, Zverev needed nearly 12 minutes and had to save six break points as Dellien made a late comeback push on his serve. But Zverev passed the test with flying colors, and claimed his fourth break of the match at 4-1 to close in on the victory.

Watch Replays

Elsewhere in the Eternal City, qualifier Federico Delbonis raced into the third round after a victory over 12th seed David Goffin. The Argentine didn’t face a break point across the 66-minute contest, and in turn broke Goffin four times from nine chances to complete the 6-2, 6-1 rout.

Delbonis will meet Felix Auger-Aliassime next after the Canadian defeated eighth seed Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday.

More stories like this in: