German tennis star Alexander Zverev was full of praise for world No. 131 Barnabe Zapata Miralles following their French Open last-16 match. Third-ranked Zverev was made to work hard by qualifier Zapata Miralles but still managed to clinch a straight set win 7-6 (11) 7-5 6-3.
Zapata Miralles recovered from two breaks down in the first set to force a tie-break, in which he missed out three set points. After blowing three set points in the first set, Zapata Miralles missed out on a great chance to win the second set.
Zverev was twice down by a break in the second set but both times recovered and in the end stole the set to open a two-set lead. Zapata Miralles was able to break Zverev in the third set as well but the German claimed three breaks and managed to close out the match in straight sets.
Zverev: Zapata Miralles was driving me nuts
“He was playing the best tennis of his life," Zverev said, per the ATP website. "You can see how hard-working of a guy he is and how great of a guy he is, I think everybody hopes he is going to have more weeks like this and continue playing the same way because he can be a very good player, and hopefully we can see him on this court more often”.
Zapata Miralles could have easily won the first sets and put Zverev in an extremely uncomfortable spot. “He was driving me nuts, to be honest," added Zverev. "He’s one of the fastest guys on Tour, I could barely hit a winner against him.
We played three sets but we played close to three hours. He’s playing incredible tennis, so if he continues playing like this I don’t see why his ranking is not going to go up even more”. Zverev plays next the winner of the match between Carlos Alcaraz and Karen Khachanov.