ATP Paris: Alexander Zverev eases past Verdasco. Grigor Dimitrov advances



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ATP Paris: Alexander Zverev eases past Verdasco. Grigor Dimitrov advances

World no. 6 and the ATP Finals contender Alexander Zverev is through to the third round in Paris, toppling Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-3 in 56 minutes for the 65th Masters 1000 victory. Verdasco won their previous encounter at Roland Garros two years ago but stood no chance today, taking five points on the return and wasting both break points in the opening game of the clash to stay behind all the time as Zverev grabbed four breaks to seal the deal in no time at all.

The German had 20 winners and nine unforced errors, having the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range exchanges to earn valuable points in the battle for the place in London. Verdasco squandered those two break points after service winners from Zverev who broke in the fourth game after a forehand mistake from the Spaniard who find himself 4-1 down following another loose shot from his stronger wing.

Alexander held at love in game seven to complete the opening set in 25 minutes, breaking at the beginning of the second as well thanks to another wild forehand from Fernando. Delivering one good hold after another, Zverev sealed the deal with a drop shot winner in game nine, earning another break and the place in the third round where he will face Denis Shapovalov or Fabio Fognini.

After eight straight losses, Kyle Edmund defeated Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 20 minutes, producing solid numbers behind the initial shot and breaking the Lithuanian three times for much-needed confidence and ATP points.

Grigor Dimitrov made a slow start against Ugo Humbert before scoring a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win in an hour and 37 minutes, storming over his opponent in sets two and three to reach the second round. Ugo grabbed two breaks in the opening set and faded from the court after that, taking seven points on the return in the rest of the encounter and getting broken twice in each of the second and third sets to propel the Bulgarian through.