World no. 7 Alexander Zverev is off to a solid start of the season despite losing five out of 11 matches, scoring five victories at the Australian Open for the first Major semi-final. The German won the title at the ATP Finals at the end of 2018 and we are yet to see similar tennis from him, struggling throughout 2019 despite qualifying for another ATP Finals.
The start of 2020 brought nothing good for Zverev, losing all three matches at the ATP Cup before bouncing back in Melbourne where he lost one set in five encounters to advance into the last four where Dominic Thiem beat him in four sets.
Following an early exit in Acapulco where he played in the final a year ago, Alexander headed to Indian Wells before other players from the top, entering the doubles draw with his brother Mischa at the Oracle Indian Wells Challenger event, performing as one of the best-ranked players in Challenger history.
Alexander and Mischa lost in the quarter-final in Acapulco and they had an even shorter campaign in Indian Wells, losing to Sebastian Korda and Mitchell Krueger 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 in an hour and 18 minutes. Alexander and Sebastian have the junior Australian Open crown in common and the crowd had the opportunity to watch some exciting tennis, with both players standing two points away from the win at 9-9 in the match tie break before the Americans grabbed the last two points to prevail and advance into the second round.
Alexander and Mischa got broken three times from eight chances offered to Krueger and Korda, hitting seven double faults and losing ground in the closing moments to suffer an early exit despite earning three breaks from five opportunities.
Mitchell saved a break point in the first game before Alexander and Zverev broke him at 2-2 to move in front. Alexander held in the next game with a service winner to cement the break, holding at love with an ace in game ten for a 6-4.
Korda and Krueger broke the younger German in the second game of the second set to forge the lead, with four more break chances on Mischa's serve at 3-0. The Germans fended off all four and broke Korda in the next game to get back on the positive side of the scoreboard, with Alexander repelling a break point in game six to level the score at 3-3.
Nonetheless, Mischa suffered a break at love in game nine when Alexander sent a volley long before Korda got broken as well following a double fault to keep the Germans in the set. It was Alexander's turn to lose serve at 4-5, with Krueger landing a return winner to secure the set for his team and bring the match tie break.
There, Korda and Krueger opened an 8-5 lead thanks to a volley winner from Mitchell at the net, only to lose the next three points as the Germans leveled the score at 8-8 for more drama. Sebastian netted a volley on match point at 9-8 but the Americans stayed focused, earning a mini-break thanks to a backhand winner from Korda and sealing the deal in the 20th point to move into the next round.