Top-ranked German tennis player Alexander Zverev joked his dogs would be "jealous" after Cologne tournament dog Bernie strolled onto the court to congratulate him on his round-of-16 win over Australian John Millman.
Zverev, seeded at No. 1, edged out world No. 44 Millman in three sets 6-0 3-6 6-3 to make the quarterfinal at Cologne 2. "Now my dogs will be jealous!” Zverev said, cracking a laugh, per the ATP website. Home favorite Zverev absolutely dominated the first set as he broke Millman three times and lost no service games to easily win the opener.
But then unexpectedly, Millman made a quick start to the second set as he won the opening three games. The Australian then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider. In the third set, Zverev claimed the first break of the set in the fourth game and then held on to his serve to seal the win and avoid an upset.
"In the first set I thought I played flawlessly, but then I wasn’t focussed at the beginning of the second [set] and the match could turn around,” Zverev said. “John is someone who has beaten top players before… you’ve got to play until the end and I thought I did a poor job serving today.
But I got the win somehow”.
Zverev jokes his brother Mischa Zverev is better than him
Last week, world No. 258 Mischa Zverev saw off Millman 6-1 6-4 at Cologne 1. "I think my brother is much better than me, so that’s why he won (against Millman) more easily,” Zverev joked.
“I think John is someone who needs rhythm himself and against a baseliner, against a hard hitter, for me the harder you hit the ball against him the better it is for him. For me, it’s not easy to play slowly, so I think my game suits him quite well”.
Meanwhile, rising Italian star Jannik Sinner was thrilled with his 6-1 6-2 win over Australian James Duckworth. "Not many unforced errors, I served quite well," Sinner said on court after his win. "I'm very happy about my first match.
"I felt great on court, moving quite well. Obviously the second set there was one game when I was serving in which he pushed a little bit more the ball, so I was a little bit rushed. But I think it was a solid performance."