World no. 3 Alexander Zverev claimed his 20th Roland Garros victory and the 68th at Majors on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Alexander saved a match point against Sebastian Baez in a 2-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-5 triumph in three hours and 36 minutes.
The last year's semi-finalist trailed two sets to love after a poor performance, like many times at Majors. Zverev raised his level in sets three and four to topple a lower-ranked rival and force a decider. Baez led 4-2 in the final set before Zverev pulled the break back and fended off a match point on serve in the tenth game.
The German claimed five of the last six games to emerge at the top and advance into the third round. Alexander is now 17-10 in five-setters and 8-1 at Roland Garros, experiencing the only loss against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last year's semi-final.
Zverev converted seven out of 11 break points and defended eight out of 13 break chances to prevail and find himself in the last 32.
Alexander Zverev saved a match point against Sebastian Baez.
They had a similar number of winners and errors, and Alexander had the upper hand in the shortest range up to four strokes.
Baez erased the deficit in the mid-range exchanges, and Zverev prevailed in the most extended ones. Alexander sprayed a forehand error in the encounter's opening game to suffer a break. The Argentine dropped only six points in his games to control the pace and keep the pressure on the other side.
Baez grabbed the second break with a backhand crosscourt winner in game five and held with a service winner at 5-2 for an impressive opener. Both players dropped 13 points behind the initial shot in set number two, and Sebastian turned them into two breaks and a 4-0 advantage after only 15 minutes!
Alexander defended three break points in the fifth game to avoid a bagel and get at least some confidence. Baez got broken for the first time in the sixth game, but he served well in the rest of the set and fired a forehand winner at 5-4 to open a 6-2, 6-4 advantage in 81 minutes.
Zverev raised his level in the third set, produced a couple of fine holds and grabbed a break in the second game for an early advantage. Alexander broke again in game six to forge a 5-1 lead, saved a break point in the next one and wrapped up the set 6-2.
The German had the upper hand in the fourth set as well, taming his strokes nicely and overpowering the rival to force a decider. Alexander broke Sebastian in games one and five and held with a service winner for 5-1. Zverev fended off a break chance while serving for the set in game eight and clinched it to introduce a decider after two hours and 32 minutes.
Alexander wasted game points at 2-3 in the final set and got broken after Sebastian's strong attack to fall 4-2 behind. The German broke back in the next one to get back on the positive side and faced a match point at 4-5.
Zverev denied it with a service winner and grabbed a crucial break in game 11 after Baez's backhand mistake. Alexander served for the win at 6-5 and fired a service winner to emerge at the top and prevail.