Shanghai Flashback: Juan Martin del Potro downs Alexander Zverev



by JOVICA ILIC

Shanghai Flashback: Juan Martin del Potro downs Alexander Zverev
© Lintao Zhang / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev played an excellent match in the Shanghai Masters third round. After a massive battle, Juan Martin prevailed 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, overcoming the deficit and sealing the deal in an hour and 55 minutes.

Both players served at 73%, and we saw five break points in total, with one break for each. Del Potro stepped in after losing the first set, dropping seven points on serve in sets two and three and keeping the pressure on Zverev.

Alexander fired 22 aces and sailed through his service games in the first and second set, standing three points away from triumph in the tie break. Still, he could not bring the match home, losing ground in the crucial moments and propelling Juan Martin into the last eight.

The German fired 46 winners and 32 unforced errors, while the Argentine produced a 25-14 ratio. Juan Martin outplayed his young rival in the mid-range rallies, forging his triumph in that segment. Zverev was off to a perfect start, taking 12 of the first 14 points to create a 3-0 gap.

He earned a break in the second game with a forehand winner, and the set was in his hands when Juan Martin netted a forehand in game nine after a swift 26 minutes.

Juan Martin del Potro defeated Alexander Zverev in three sets in Shanghai 2017.

Del Potro raised his level in set number two.

He followed his opponent's pace and delivered one good hold after another after keeping his backhand safe in the exchanges. The crucial moment of the tie break was the tenth point when Delpo forced Zverev's error to move 6-4 ahead.

The Argentine closed the set with a service winner in the 12th point, introducing a decider and gaining a boost. Juan Martin continued to sail through his service games in the final set. He used his initial shot to prepare the ground for the forehand attacks, keeping Alexander away from deuces or break chances.

The German lost serve in the fifth game after netting a backhand, falling behind and closer to the exit door. He broke his racquet in frustration and found himself 4-2 down when the Argentine held with a service winner in the next one.

The youngster was in trouble on serve again in game nine. He fended off two match points to reduce the deficit to 5-4, forcing his opponent to serve for the victory. Juan Martin did that in style, blasting a service winner to seal the deal and move to the last eight, earning enough points to crack the top-20 for the first time in three years!

Juan Martin Del Potro Alexander Zverev Shanghai Masters