ATP Marrakech: Alexander Zverevs advances. Fabio Fognini bows out again

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ATP Marrakech: Alexander Zverevs advances. Fabio Fognini bows out again

The world no. 3 Alexander Zverev has made a successful debut in Marrakech, defeating Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes for the 11th win of the season. Firing 13 aces and rumbling from his first serve, Alexander fended off all three break points he faced to mount the pressure on the other side of the net, creating nine break chances and converted one in each set to advance into the second round.

The German earned a break in the third game of the match after a solid drop shot, sailing through his service games and sealing the opener with an ace in game ten for a 6-4. Denis saved three break points earlier in the second set to stay in touch until the seventh game when Zverev forced an error to grab a break and move 4-3 up, repelling three break points in the following game to cement the lead and advancing with a drop shot winner in game ten.

The struggling Italian Fabio Fognini has lost the eighth match this season in 12 encounters and the fifth clash on clay overall since winning Bastad last summer! Jiri Vesely took down the 2nd seed 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 46 minutes, scoring the second straight win over the better-ranked opponent since Wimbledon last year.

Jiri blasted ten aces and delivered good numbers on both the first and second serve, saving three out of four break points and converting two out of seven chances on the return to seal the deal in straight sets for the third triumph in 2019.

The opening set lasted for more than an hour and they saved all six break points to set up a tie break that Jiri won 7-2 after a stunning twinner winner. Carried by this momentum, the Czech raced into a 5-1 lead in set number two with breaks in games three and five, serving for the win at 5-3.

Fabio pulled one break back to prolong the encounter although that was all we saw from him, with Vesely sealing the deal after an ace in game ten to notch much-needed win after a slow start of the season. Raising Spaniard Jaume Munar toppled Facundo Bagnis 6-1, 7-6 in an hour and 32 minutes, saving four out of five break points and scoring three breaks for the place in round two.

Facundo was 4-1 up in set number two, losing the advantage in the seventh game to set up a tie break after five good holds on both sides. Jaume controlled the pace and won it 7-3 for the 11th win in 2019 and another good result on clay.

Benoit Paire needed more than two hours to dismiss Aljaz Bedene 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, winning six points more than his rival and performing a great escape after trailing 5-4 in the decider. Aljaz missed a chance to serve out for the win, losing the last three games to push Benoit over the finish line for the Frenchman's fourth victory in five matches against the Slovenian.

Robin Haase took down Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4 in just over an hour, losing 13 points in ten service games and breaking the Tunisian once in each set to race over the finish line and enter the last 16. A qualifier Lorenzo Sonego ousted Rio de Janeiro champion Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-3 in 80 minutes for the fifth ATP win, delivering fury from the initial shot to save both break points he faced and stealing Laslo's serve three times for the best possible start of the tournament.

The 5th seed Fernando Verdasco who became a dad recently hit the exit door after a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 loss to a qualifier Adrian Menendez-Maceiras in two hours and 31 minutes, facing mind-blowing 22 break points and giving serve away five times to lose ground after the opening set.

The 7th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber toppled the 19-year-old Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6, 7-5 on the youngster's ATP debut, trailing 5-1 in set number two and saving two set points in game ten. Alejandro faded from the court after forging that massive lead, losing six straight games to send Philipp through.

The defending champion Pablo Andujar and Juan Ignacio Londero have also scored wins on the second day to complete the second round line-up, with four second-round encounters coming on Wednesday.