German tennis star Alexander Zverev survived a scare on the opening day of the Australian Open as he recovered from a set down to beat world No. 75 Marcos Giron 6-7 (8) 7-6 (5) 6-3 6-2. Giron competed extremely well against Zverev and the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion gave credit to the American for his performance.
“He played incredibly well and played really well on the big stage against a Top 10 player,” said Zverev in an on court interview. “He had me on the ropes and the second set could have gone either way. I didn't want to go two sets down.
I am happy to get through and in the end I played better. The first round of a Slam is never easy”.
Zverev won a key second set
Zverev had an early first-set lead but Giron recovered and forced a tie-break. In the first set tie-break, Zverev saved four sets -- then failed to realize first set point -- before the American converted his fifth set point to win the opener.
Giron again recovered from a break down in the second set to force a tie-break but this time Zverev held his composure to win the set. Zverev then claimed one break of serve in each of the following two games and lost no service games to earn a four-set win.
“I think it's incredible to play in front of fans again," said Zverev. "That's something that we missed over the last year or so... I still felt my abs and my back a little bit, so the serve wasn't full power like it usually is.
I barely got over 210 [km/h] on the serve, which is still quite fast, but for me I know I can go faster than that, so I had to vary it a little bit. I had to go [for] a lot of spin. All in all, he played well, and for me the longer the match went, the better I started playing. That's something positive, I think”.