Zverev Sets Alcaraz SF In Vienna
Alexander Zverev continued his quest for his fifth tour-level title of the season on Friday at the Erste Bank Open, downing Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to capture his 50th tour-level victory of the season and reach the semi-finals in Vienna.
The second seed, who earned his 300th tour-level win on Thursday when he defeated Australian Alex de Minaur, was strong on serve, winning 80 per cent (40/50) of points behind his first delivery. The German recovered from a dip in the second set as he raised his level in the decider to advance after two hours and six minutes.
“I did make it difficult for myself once again, that needs to stop happening,” Zverev said. “One easy mistake and the second set went away. But I am proud of myself because at the beginning of the second set it could have gone his way easily.”
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Zverev now leads Auger-Aliassime 4-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, gaining revenge from his defeat to the sixth seed in the fourth round at Wimbledon in July.
“He [Alcaraz] has improved a lot," Zverev added. "He has made big steps forward and is a great player, so I am looking forward to that match.”
Zverev is making his second main-draw appearance in Vienna, having enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals in 2017. Earlier this season, the 17-time tour-level titlist triumphed at ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Cincinnati. The German also lifted the trophy in Acapulco and captured the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
After winning 100 per cent (9/9) of his first-service points in the opening set, Zverev moved ahead and looked in control. That was until the eighth game of the second set, when the German missed a volley on top of the net at 30/0. Auger-Aliassime went on to break in that game, before levelling on serve.
However, Zverev regained his focus and composure in the decider and converted on his sixth break point in a mammoth 16-minute sixth game of the decider. Zverev then sealed victory when Auger-Aliassime hit a backhand longWith his defeat, Auger-Aliassime’s bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals suffered a blow. The 21-year-old is 12th (2,420 points) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, 535 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz. The Pole currently occupies the final qualification spot with eighth-placed Rafael Nadal out for the rest of the season due to a foot injury.