ATP Australian Open: Alexander Zverev downs Daniel Altmaier in straight sets

Tennis - World no. 3 claimed two tie breaks to avoid spending more time on the court

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Australian Open: Alexander Zverev downs Daniel Altmaier in straight sets

World no. 3 and one of the title favorites, Alexander Zverev, made a winning start at the Australian Open. The German took down a compatriot Daniel Altmaier 7-6, 6-1, 7-6 in two hours and 38 minutes, prevailing in the crucial points in sets one and three to book a place in the second round.

Alexander fired 14 aces and dominated with his first serve while struggling on the second, an element he has to improve in the upcoming encounters. Altmaier turned 18 return points into a single break from one opportunity, doing his best to remain in touch with a better-ranked opponent after fending off 14 out of 18 break chances.

Zverev dominated set number two and stayed calm in the other two despite some issues to seal the deal and secure the 64th Major victory. World no. 3 had 53 winners and 43 unforced errors and had the advantage in the shortest and more advanced rallies.

Alexander Zverev made a winning start at the Australian Open.

Alexander claimed the opening game with a service winner, and Daniel found the rhythm in his games to follow the rival's pace and level the score at 4-4 after 35 minutes.

Altmaier fended off three set points in the tenth game (two with service winners) to prolong his chances and held at 15 in game 12 to introduce a tie break. Alexander won it 7-3 following a forehand winner at the net, spending 63 minutes on the court and hoping for a quicker set number two.

The better-ranked plater raised his level, broke at love in the opening game and scored another at 2-0 to establish himself as the leader on the court. Returning at 5-1, Zverev placed a forehand winner to seal this part of the match in under half an hour and build a massive advantage ahead of set number three.

Altmaier stayed composed and grabbed a break at 2-2 to increase the drama, with two game points that could have pushed him 5-3 ahead. Zverev saved those and pulled the break back to level the score at 4-4 and gain a boost. Serving at 5-6, Daniel faced four match points and erased them in style to bring up a tie break, a must-winning one for him. Like the opener, Zverev did everything right and claimed it 7-1 to seal the deal and advance into the second round.

Australian Open Alexander Zverev Daniel Altmaier