Zverev Sweeps Past Tiafoe Into Beijing Second Round

Mixed day for British players

Alexander Zverev stepped up his bid to clinch a place at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he is the defending champion, by sweeping into the China Open second round on Monday.

The second-seeded German beat American wild card Frances Tiafoe for the fifth time in six FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes.

Zverev is currently in 11th position in the 2019 ATP Race To London, but only 65 points behind eighth-placed Italian Matteo Berrettini (2,185 points), with five weeks left in the regular ATP Tour season. Four singles spots are left for the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

With a strong service performance, Zverev recorded his 35th match win of the year by breaking Tiafoe for 3-1 lead in the first set and in the third and fifth games of the second set. He will next play Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime or Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes for two British players. Chinese wild card Zhizhen Zhang knocked out last year’s semi-finalist Kyle Edmund 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5), but Daniel Evans beat wild card Zhe Li 6-3, 6-4. Qualifier Cameron Norrie progressed when leading 7-6(5), 1-0 when Cristian Garin retired due to a right ankle injury.

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