ATP Madrid: Alexander Zverev makes strong start. Thiem survives Delbonis

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ATP Madrid: Alexander Zverev makes strong start. Thiem survives Delbonis

World number 3 Alexander Zverev has claimed his 22nd win of the season and the 39th at Masters 1000 level when he beat the qualifier Evgeny Donskoy 6-2 7-5 in an hour and 15 minutes. Sascha won their only previous match at Wimbledon last year and he played a solid match again, never facing a break point and stealing rival's serve three times to race into the last 16 and preserve energy for tomorrow's encounter against Leonardo Mayer.

The Russian struggled to find the pace on his second serve but he picked up his game after a poor first set to stay in touch with Zverev in the first 10 games of set number two, fending off three break points in game nine before Sascha finally broke him at 5-5, closing the match on own serve in game 12, some 20 minutes after the midnight local time.

The German fired 33 winners with just 14 unforced errors and Donskoy stood on a negative 12-18 ratio, loisng the majority of the shortest and mid-range rallies to end his run in the second round. An in-form Croat Borna Coric has claimed his 17th win of the season, beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-0 6-2 in just 70 minutes to book his place in the third round where he would meet Dominic Thiem on Thursday. This was the 30th Masters 1000 triumph for Borna and he deserved it with a great performance on both serve and return, saving both break points he faced and winning 55% of the return points to create no less than 17 break chances and convert five, enough to sail through the entire match.

Borna had 17 winners and just seven errors while Struff sprayed 22 mistakes with 15 winners, not enough to make a more positive result or to prolong the match. The first set was completed in less than 30 minutes and Coric opened it with a forced error from Jan-Lennard that gave him the initial lead.

A service winner in game two cemented the break for Borna and he increased his advantage with another break in game three following fresh forehand error from the German. The fifth game was the longest of the match and Coric converted his fourth break point with another forced error to serve for the set at such an early stage of the match.

An ace delivered the set for the youngster and he pushed strong at the start of the second set as well, creating four break points that Struff successfully defended to end his downfall and get his name on the scoreboard. Nonetheless, his forehand could only find the net in the fifth game, allowing Borna to convert his eight break points since the start of the set that sent him 6-0 3-2 up.

The Croat saved two break points in game six to confirm his lead and he grabbed another break for a 5-2 lead after yet another poor forehand from Jan-Lennard. Coric heled at love in game eight to seal the deal and notch one of his most important wins of the season so far, hoping for more of the same against Thiem as well. Second round results:


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