Sixth seed Alexander Zverev outlasted Frances Tiafoe 6-3 3-6 6-2 2-6 6-3 in the U.S. Open second round on Thursday, as he continued to put his disappointing Wimbledon behind him and enhance his reputation as one of the sport’s best young players.
Zverev, who suffered a shock first-round defeat at the All-England Tennis Club last month, showed off his trademark endurance under the blistering sun on Arthur Ashe Stadium, saving eight of the 11 break points Tiafoe created on the German’s serve.
Zverev, who fired down 22 aces, appeared exhausted after a match lasting more than three hours.
“Frances gave me an unbelievable fight,” said Zverev. “I’m just happy to get the win somehow. Sometimes I would like to win easier than always five sets.”
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2019
The 22-year-old German was no stranger to his American opponent, leading him 3-1 in previous meetings, after they competed together in juniors competition.
Nadal gets walkover into U.S. Open third round
Three-times champion Rafa Nadal got a walkover into the third round of the U.S. Open after Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from their evening match on Thursday.
Kokkinakis, whose clash with the Spanish second seed was scheduled to close out the Thursday night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium, withdrew with a right shoulder injury, tournament organisers said in a statement.
The 23-year-old Australian, who has struggled badly with injury in recent years, beat Bulgarian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in his opening match this week and was seeking his first appearance in the U.S. Open third round.
Nadal will now face the winner of Thursday’s clash between fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, the 32nd seed, or South Korean Chung Hyeon.