A year after reaching the Rolex Paris Masters final, Alexander Zverev looks set to go even further in the last ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.
The German got off to a good start at Paris-Bercy on Wednesday, beating Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 7-6 (5) in one hour and 40 minutes to reach the third round. The fourth seed will then face 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who knocked out 2018 champion Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Zverev plays some of the best tennis of his career, having won 26 of his last 28 matches since the start of the Tokyo Olympics, where he won the gold medal in singles. Nineteen of those 26 wins came in straight sets.
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It wasn’t a stress-free win for Zverev over Lajovic, however. The Serbian fought to stay in touch in the second set, and came within two points of sending the game to the decider. But cowardly mistakes that landed beyond the baseline at the end of the tie-break cost the world No.34, who was chasing his first ATP Head2Head victory over the five-time ATP Masters 1000 champion.
Zverev will try to play even better against Dimitrov, whom he has not faced since Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2016, when the German had just turned 19. The fourth seed has triumphed in two of their previous three meetings.
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Zverev is second on the ATP Tour this season with 53 circuit wins (53-13). He only trails Stefanos Tsitsipas (55-18), who retired in his second round match in Paris on Wednesday due to an injury.