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ATP ANALYSIS: Zverev hits 42 winners to oust Kyrgios in Montreal

ATP ANALYSIS: Zverev hits 42 winners to oust Kyrgios in Montreal

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by Jovica Ilic

The third round encounter between Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios at Canada Masters promises to be a very interesting one, but Zverev beat his rival 6-4 6-3 in 71 minutes to reach another quarter-final, toppling Nick for the first time in 3 matches.

In March, the Aussie prevailed at both Indian Wells and Miami but it was the other way around this time, with Zverev saving all 8 break points and stealing Kyrgios's serve 3 times from 4 chances to notch a commanding win. Sascha did a great job of defending his serve in the middle of the opening set and he faced fewer problems on serve in the rest of the match, seeking his chance on the return which he eventually got and realized.

Despite some solid numbers, Zverev again felt uncomfortable on the court, unable to find any kind of rhythm against the rival who avoided the long rallies and kept him off balance with drop shots and slices. Unlike his matches in Washington where he knew what to expect from Medvedev, Nishikori, and Anderson, Zverev had to guess the pattern of the exchanges versus Nick and he couldn't prolong the rallies and make the difference with his first groundstroke after the initial shot.

Kyrgios again felt pain in his left leg and hip, asking for 2 medical timeouts and he just let the final game of the match, having nothing left in the tank. It has to be said that Zverev did find his drive in the second part of the second set, setting up his groundstrokes nicely and keeping his rival without an answer.

They had the similar number of service winners, 21-20 for Alexander, who was the dominant figure from the field, blasting 21 winners against only 10 from Nick. Also, German stayed on 8 unforced error while Kyrgios counted to 15, 9 from his forehand and many of those in the crucial points that could change the scoreboard into his favor.

On the other hand, Zverev committed 11 forced errors against only 4 for Nick, but 7 of those came in the first set when the Aussie attacked more efficiently. Sascha made 13 errors from his backhand in total but it worked fine in the latter stages of the match, and it gave him an advantage on the court.

67% of the points ended in the shortest department, up to 4 strokes, and Zverev had a 43-36 lead in them. He was also better in the mid-range points, from 5 to 8 strokes, winning 17 out of 28 points, and they split the 10 longest points, with 5 points for each.

Sascha had a break point in the very first game of the match after 2 double faults from Nick but the Aussie saved it with a nice drop shot winner, and he brought the game home with 2 service winners, having already 4 in total in the first game.

Zverev had an easier job towards his first game, firing 3 service winners in game 2 to get his name on the scoreboard. In game 3 German did get the break, after another double fault from Nick and an easy backhand he sent long, and the break was sealed with a forehand return winner.

Instead of another string of comfortable holds, Zverev went through hell and back in games 4 and 6 on his serve, with 6 break points for Kyrgios. Nick controlled his backhand well in these points, especially when he was able to spread Sascha over the baseline and open up a backhand down the line shot.

Also, Kyrgios changed the pace of the shots so well, mixing up his game and forcing Zverev to play from awkward positions, something he didn't have to do in Washington. After all, German held in both games to keep a 4-2 lead, and Nick started to shake his left hand in game 5, which wasn't the good sign.

The Aussie had 3 winners in game 7, cutting the deficit to 4-3, and he received a treatment on his left leg during the next break. Still, that didn't help him much in game 8, Zverev finally embraced an easier hold, with 3 service winners and 1 from forehand to open up a 5-3 gap, which was very important for him.

Nick stayed in touch with 2 service winners and 2 great drop shots in game 9, forcing the errors from his rival, who now served for the set. 3 service winners gave Sascha the set after 40 minutes, he crossed the finish line first but he couldn't be happy with those couple of service games where he really struggled to make an impact.

Sascha had the advantage in service winners department, by 14-11, and also in the direct points from the field, hitting 9 winners against 7 for Nick. In addition, the Aussie had 8 unforced errors compared to just 3 from Sascha, but German had 7 forced errors with just 2 for Kyrgios.

Point by point result and the number of shots in the rallies:

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