Alexander Zverev, the sixth-ranked player in the world, battled valiantly on Thursday to win the Australian Open.
In order to defeat Slovak qualifier Lukas Klein on Thursday at the Australian Open, world No. 6 Alexander Zverev was tested to the breaking point. It took him five exhausting sets.
After trailing down for the second time in a row in the second round in Melbourne, the German battled back to win 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (10/7) in a thrilling match that lasted for four and a half hours on Margaret Court Arena.
However, losing to a player ranked 163 in just his second Grand Slam match and without a coach was a serious wake-up call for the sixth seed.
A matchup in the third round against American unknown Alex Michelsen is his reward.
“What can you do? I would much prefer have an hour and a half. Zverev exclaimed, “He played brilliantly. “I really didn’t know what to do; he was striking every ball as hard as he could from both sides. Sincerely, I think he should have won the match today more than I did, but that’s tennis sometimes. Now that I’m in the third round, I need to focus on getting better.
Zverev also struggled in his first round encounter, dropping a set. He is scheduled to go on trial in May on charges that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend in 2020, an accusation he disputes.
He got off to a strong start against Klein, taking the lead in the opening set with the lone break. But it didn’t last long.
In the second set, Klein held two break points on his opening service. Then, in the sixth game, Klein broke Zverev and tied the match at one set apiece with a winning baseline stroke.
With a net volley to start the third set, the 25-year-old Slovak maintained her lead throughout and never looked back.
In the fourth set, they battled it out to a close tie-break, won or lost by Klein’s netted forehand on the serve at 5-4.
Zverev saved a break point on serve early in the fifth set, and with the match on the line, he broke Klein the following game to win 2-1.
But the fearless Slovak would not give up, levelling the score at 3-3 in front of an enthusiastic audience before a nail-biting tie-break finish.