Match Report

Zverev Lifts Level To Down Dimitrov, Return To Roland Garros QFs

Argentina's Etcheverry upsets Nishioka to extend best major run
June 05, 2023
Alexander Zverev dismissed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals.
Peter Staples for ATP Tour
Alexander Zverev dismissed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals. By ATP Staff

Headlining the Roland Garros evening session for his third straight match, Alexander Zverev again closed the curtains on both Court Phlippe-Chatrier and his opponent with a battling victory under the lights.

After an eventful four-set win against Frances Tiafoe on Saturday, Zverev needed only three sets to move past Grigor Dimitrov on Monday evening. But his 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory still packed plenty of drama, with the German battling back from a break down in the second set and surrendering a 3-0 lead in the third.

"I felt like at 3-0 in the third set I got very unfocused. I kind of thought the match was over before having it over, and I was not concentrated anymore, and my serve went missing a little bit, " Zverev said post-match, explaining why he returned to the court for some serving practice. "So I just wanted to get the feeling of having that back, because it's going to be important for after tomorrow, I think."

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His victory saw him through to the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the fifth time in six years, and he will seek his third straight semi-final when he faces Argentina's Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Wednesday. The 26-year-old has reached nine major quarter-finals overall, with his best Grand Slam result a run to the 2021 US Open final.

Zverev opened in imperious form against Dimitrov, dominating the early stages of the match with powerful baseline hitting and just five unforced errors in the opening set. Dimitrov began to find his footing — and his forehand — in the second to build a 4-2 lead, but Zverev snapped back by winning seven straight games to move to the brink of victory.

The German's charge was aided by untimely errors from Dimitrov, who struggled with consistency throughout the match and finished with 50 unforced errors. That was again the case down the stretch, as Zverev rattled off the final three games of the match after Dimitrov roared back from 0-3 to level the final set.

The Bulgarian was a constant threat on return but only converted on two of his 16 break chances in the two-hour, 17-minute match. Zverev was far more efficient, claiming seven of 15 break points.

Dimitrov was bidding for his first Roland Garros quarter-final, an achievement that would have made him the 10th active player to reach at least the quarters at all four majors. Zverev could join that elite club with a deep run at Wimbledon next month, with two fourth-round runs (2017, 2021) his best showings on the London lawns.

<a href=''>Tomas Martin Etcheverry</a>
Photo credit: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Argentina's Etcheverry booked his place opposite Zverev with a 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1 win against 27th seed Yoshihito Nishioka. The Argentine entered Roland Garros with an 1-5 record in Grand Slam main draws and has now knocked off three seeds in a row to reach the quarters, beginning with 18th seed Alex de Minaur and 15th seed Borna Coric

"For me I have a lot of emotion right now. I think I am really, really happy. The best moment of my life," Etcheverry said in his post-match presser. "Of course, in the next round it's going to be tough. Sascha Zverev, I think he has a lot of more experience than me, but I feel really good to play against him. I am playing incredible tennis this week, and just I have to focus on my game and trying to do the same like I am doing every day."

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After winning a tight opening set against Nishioka, in which he saved a set point at 6/7 in the tie-break, Etcheverry eased through the finish line as the Japanese star began to show the effects of the 14 sets he played in his previous three matches. The 23-year-old finished with 37 winners including 12 aces after just over two hours on court.

Etcheverry's breakout run to the quarter-finals has lifted him 18 places to No. 31 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, putting him ahead of Zverev, who is defending semi-final points. The winner of Wednesday's matchup will move into the Top 25, with Etcheverry set for a new career-high regardless of the result.

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