Alexander Zverev: I have to play better every round if I want to win French Open

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Alexander Zverev: I have to play better every round if I want to win French Open

World No. 7 Alexander Zverev was extremely happy with his performance against 2018 French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato as he handed a straight-set defeat to the Italian 6-1 7-5 6-3 to reach the round-of-16 at Roland Garros.

A round earlier, No. 6 seed Zverev struggled mightily against French Pierre-Hugues Herbert but avoided a shock loss as he claimed a narrow five-set win. Zverev, who made his maiden Grand Slam final at this past US Open, is aware that he has to lift his level if he wants to win it all at the French Open.

"I am definitely much happier with my game [than against Herbert]. I worked on a few things yesterday. I was very unsatisfied with myself two days ago, but I still won,” Zverev said, per the ATP website. “So that was more important.

I know that with every round I have to play better and better, otherwise I will not have a chance."

Zverev not taking Jannik Sinner for granted

Zverev will fight against rising Italian star Sinner for a place in the French Open quarterfinal.

World No. 75 Sinner is enjoying a dream French Open debut as he made the round-of-16 at the tournament without dropping a set. "[Sinner] is playing incredible. I don’t think he lost a set yet, so he is somebody that is definitely coming up and playing really well right now,” Zverev said.

“[He is] somebody who has a lot of power. We will see how the match goes, but I feel like I am playing better and maybe I have a little more experience. But the young guys, they have no fear, no reason to be nervous, so it can go both ways."

Meanwhile, American Taylor Fritz admitted he felt bad after losing to Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the third round. Sonego beat Fritz 7-6 (5) 6-3 7-6 (17) to make the round-of-16 at Roland Garros. Fritz had a great chance to win the third set but failed to convert any of his nine set point chances.

"I'm gonna be up all night thinking about what I could have done different, especially in that third set, like on every single set point I made the return and I made like pretty good returns on almost all of them," Fritz said, per Ravi Ubha.

Fritz' string broke late in the third set tie-break and he couldn't belive how unlucky it was to happen. "It's crazy because I never ever break strings, and this was a completely fresh racquet...actually, two of the strings on the racquet popped when I hit that serve," Fritz claimed.