Alexander Zverev reached the quarterfinals of the tennis tournament in Beijing. After a strange match, the 26-year-old from Hamburg prevailed on Sunday night (local time) in the round of 16 against the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6:7 (4:7), 6:2, 6:1.
As on the previous day, Zverev, who celebrated the title in Chengdu just last Tuesday, had health problems and apparently had trouble breathing. In the fight for the semi-final ticket, the Olympic champion will face Nicolas Jarry from Chile. "To be honest, I'm just tired right now, I want to go to bed," said Zverev in the winner's interview: "I also feel a little sick."
The game against Davidoch Fokina only started around midnight in Beijing and only ended around 2:45 a.m. that night. "Of course I'm happy about the win. It's difficult to play until three in the morning," said Zverev and was not happy about the decision to leave the game on the pitch: "I think we should have changed the pitch . I'm not sure we should wait until after midnight to start the match, to be honest."
Zverev was behind by a break three times in the first set, and he came back three times. It was an unusual first set in men's tennis with a total of six service losses. At the break, when the score was 5:4 and 5:6, Zverev sought medical advice from the bench. Zverev also didn't feel well in the first round on Friday; he apparently felt sick during the win against Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.
Davidovich Fokina also had a brief moment of shock in the first set when the ball jumped into his eye while trying to play a volley. But the Spaniard was able to continue playing and secured the first set in the tiebreak.
At the beginning of the second set, Zverev initially complained vehemently to the referee about the technology's decision that his opponent's ball had not touched the net. As the set progressed, he was the more consistent player in front of almost empty stands and got the breaks to make it 2:1 and 4:1. Zverev was also the better player in the third set.