Read & Watch: Zverev Fights Through In Halle
But the German kept his focus on what was in front of him, and didn't even need to bother with a third set. The two-time Halle finalist (2016, 2017) beat Haase 6-4, 7-5 to make the second round at the ATP 500 event.
“This is probably one of my favourite tournaments and I’m always motivated here. Last year, I played with an injury here and lost first round and this year I really want to do well. I hope this was a good start for a good tournament for me,” Zverev said.
Zverev dug himself out of trouble to serve for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but needed more heroics to stave off the Dutch veteran. The second-seeded Zverev saved two break points while serving at 6-5, including one during a 41-shot rally that Haase ended when he sprayed a backhand wide.
The 22-year-old Zverev will next face American Steve Johnson, who ended a three-match losing streak by beating Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3. Johnson hit 13 aces, won 85 per cent of his first-serve points (29/34) and never faced a break point.
“He is someone who has an unbelievable serve, a very good grass-court game. He has won a [couple] tournaments on grass. He has a good forehand and a very good slice. He beat Philipp in straight sets, which also tells a lot,” Zverev said. “It won’t be an easy match but there are no bad players here. Therefore, there aren’t any easy matches here.”