ATP BARCELONA & BUCHAREST: Good start for Zverev, Khachanov saves match point against Bedene

Tennis - Young guns had a good opener at both tournaments, scoring important points

by Jovica Ilic
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ATP BARCELONA & BUCHAREST: Good start for Zverev, Khachanov saves match point against Bedene

ATP 500 Barcelona : Promising German Alexander Zverev notched his 30th ATP victory two days before his 19th birthday, beating fellow countryman Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-3 in 68 minutes. Struff served at only 42% and that wasn't enough to put a bigger pressure on Zverev, who made 5 breaks.

Players exchanged breaks in the third and fourth games before Zverev moved in front with another one in game 7, keeping the advantage until the end of the set. The level of play has dropped in the second part of the second set, with 4 breaks in the last 5 games.

Sascha claimed 3 of those, finishing the match with a break in the 9th game to reach the second round. His second serve made the difference in this match, but he will need better tennis in the next rounds if he wants a good result here.

Russian qualifier Karen Khachanov, who trains in Barcelona, scored his first victory in ATP tournament since Moscow 2013, as he defeated Aljaz Bedene in the most interesting match of the day. Bedene started better, losing only 7 points on serve in the first set with no break points given to his young rival, and he broke Karen in game 6 to win the opener 6-3.

The second set was very tight, decided by one break of serve. This time, Khachanov delivered it in game 4 to keep the advantage until the end, forcing a decider. Khachanov raised his level again but Bedene managed to hang in the match, and he even had a match point on return in game 12.

Karen saved it and carried that momentum into the tie break, winning it 7-2. First round results: Inigo Cervantes (ESP) vs [Q]Franko Skugor (CRO) 6-3 6-4
Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) vs Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 1-6 7-6(3) 6-2
Alexander Zverev (GER) vs [Q]Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-4 6-3
Malek Jaziri (TUN) vs Hyeon Chung (KOR) 6-3 6-4
[Q]Karen Khachanov (RUS) vs Aljaz Bedene (GBR) 3-6 6-3 7-6(2)
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) vs Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 7-5 7-6(5)
Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) vs Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 3-6 6-2 6-2
[Q]Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-4 7-5
[WC]Albert Montanes (ESP) vs Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 6-3 6-3
On the next page, Bucharest results.. ALSO READ: The Five Best Matches of the 2016 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters!

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