World number 4 Alexander Zverev scored his 14th Grand Slam win, beating his compatriot Peter Gojowczyk by 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3 in just under 2 hours. Young German fired 25 aces and he played against only 2 break points, although the one break he gave to Peter cost him the third set. His return game was also on a high level, creating 17 break points and converting 5 to move safely to the third round for the second year in a row here in Melbourne.
Alexander opened the match in a strong fashion, winning the first 5 games in no time at all, and he closed the set 2 games later for a commanding 6-1. He was the only player on the court in the second set as well, sailing through his service games and creating 9 break points, converting 2 in games 3 and 9 for a 6-3 to move a set away from the win in just over 50 minutes.
Peter started to play a little bit better in the crucial moments in set number 3, fending off all 5 break points and he broke Sascha in the 3rd game, using the only loose service game from the youngster to earn the lead and grab the set by 6-4, holding at love in the last 2 service games.
Still, Zverev got an early break in the 4th set and that was enough to get him over the finish line, serving well until the end of the set to win it by 6-3 and advance to the next round. In one of the best matches of the tournament so far, Juan Martin del Potro battled past Karen Khachanov by 6-4 7-6(4) 6-7(0) 6-4 in 3 hours and 45 minutes, reaching the 3rd round in Melbourne for the 5th time.
Almost nothing could separate the rivals as they finished on 187 points each, but it has to be said that Juan Martin had much more break points, converting 3 from 15 while losing serve just once from 3 chances he offered to young Russian. We saw a lot of service winners and big forehands on both sides and they really gave their best in almost irregular conditions under the boiling Melbourne sun.
The Argentine looked completely spent at the end of the third and start of the second set but he found the way to preserve energy, relying on his serve and forehand and breaking Karen once to scrapes past into the last 32.
Delpo grabbed an early lead with a break in game 3 and he saved 2 break points in the following game to increase his lead to 3-1. Karen fends off 2 set points in game 9 but he couldn't find the way to pull the break back, as Juan Martin held at 15 a few minutes later to take the opener by 6-4.
The Argentine played well on serve in the second set as well, facing no break points and keeping the pressure on Karen, but the Russian was also solid, saving all 3 break points he faced in the 5th game to set up a tie break.
Del Potro won it by 7-4 and this was one of the pivotal moments of the match, giving him a huge lead before the rest of the encounter. Khachanov gave his best to stay in touch, saving 6 break points in the opening 2 service games of set number 3, and they traded breaks in gams 7 and 8 to reach another tie break, a must-win one for the younger player.
He delivered it in style, rattling off all 7 points to send the match into the 4th set, with the momentum on his side. Still, del Potro used all of his experience to avoid troubles on serve and he found the way to break Karen in game 5, and he received a medical timeout after that.
The match was completed 5 games later after another solid hold from Delpo, who will now face his old rival Tomas Berdych for the place in the last 16. Second round results: