Alexander Zverev was sent crashing out of the French Open in the first round itself by Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the biggest upset on the men’s side of things. Zverev looked out of sorts and was no match for Verdasco who won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a match that was carried on from Monday night.
After the match he said, “Yeah of course I’m super happy being here one more year. It’s my 14th year here in Paris. It’s always a pleasure to play on this historic court against a young player like Alexander that just won Rome. I’ve been practising very hard the last couple of weeks. With this victory a little bit of that work has come through.”
On Monday evening, after much deliberations, play was suspended with fading light at 8.40 PM local time. When play resumed on Tuesday morning, the scoreline was even at one set all.
Zverev started the third set brightly to lead 3-1 but Verdasco clawed back to reduce the deficit and then take a 4-3 lead. Soon enough, he closed out the set and leave the German one set away from exiting the tournament early.
That task was completed when Zverev, after two hours and 52 minutes, netted a forehand error and brought curtains on his quest to win his first Grand Slam tournament. There was little to separate the two on key statistics but Verdasco capitalised on key points.
The 33-year-old Spaniard is not new to causing big upsets. In 2016, he beat Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in the first round to cause a stir. But for Zverev, it would be a reason to be disappointed having won the Masters title in Rome after beating Novak Djokovic in the final.