World no. 4 Alexander Zverev stands as one of the favorites at the season's last Major in New York. Alexander was on the verge of becoming a Major champion last September, competing in his first Major final against Dominic Thiem and building two sets to love advantage.
Wasting it, Zverev still served for the crown in the decider before falling in the tie break for a massive setback. In the next two weeks, the German will have another chance, heading to New York with back-to-back titles at the Olympic Games and the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati.
Alexander faces Sam Querrey in the opening round, and the seven-time Major winner Mats Wilander believes it could be a formidable obstacle for Alexander to pass. Wilander reminded that Zverev tends to play passive tennis in the opening rounds at Majors, experiencing numerous setbacks since becoming one of the world's finest players in 2017.
Alexander Zverev plays against Sam Querrey in the US Open opening round.
Zverev lost the opening set at this year's Australian Open to Marcos Giron and faced even more significant troubles in Paris against Oscar Otte.
Alexander prevailed 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 in two hours and 49 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, scoring his seventh five-setter victory from as many matches in Paris! Zverev scored only one break in the opening two sets, struggled to find the rhythm and fell behind before shifting into a higher gear and dominating the remaining sets to move over the top in under three hours after taking 11 straight games.
Alexander lost serve four times and delivered eight breaks, firing 50 winners and 32 unforced errors to leave the rival behind and advance into the second round, celebrating the 51st Major victory and the second from two sets to love down.
"I'm actually really worried about Alexander Zverev. He is playing against the home player Sam Querrey in the first round, a player with a massive serve and no pressure on his back. Zverev was two sets to love down against Oscar Otte in the Roland Garros first round, and he sometimes plays very passively in the tournaments' early stages.
His confidence will be very high in New York after winning Tokyo and Cincinnati. Also, the pressure and expectation will be high, and I expect a tough match against Sam Querrey," Mats Wilander said.