During his confident opening victory at the US Open, Alexander Zverev felt like he was in "Snoop Dogg's living room".
After the unchallenged 6: 4, 6: 4, 6: 4 over the Australian Aleksandar Vukic on his return to the Grand Slam tournament in New York, the Olympic tennis champion reported the smell of marijuana flowing over outdoor court 17. "Oh my god, it's literally everywhere, the whole place smells like weed," said the 26-year-old after entering the second round, drawing the comparison to the US rapper, who is known for consuming weed.
Other professionals such as Maria Sakkari had previously complained about the penetrating smell on parts of the system, but unlike the Greek, Zverev was not discouraged. After his 13th ace, the man from Hamburg routinely celebrated his successful return to the last Grand Slam tournament of the year.
After 2:09 hours, the 26-year-old converted his first match point. At 26 degrees and high humidity, Zverev only gave up his serve once in the final phase of the game and lived up to his role as a favorite. "For a first lap, it was really, really good from me, very confident from start to finish," said Zverev about his performance.
German duel in the second round
In the second round he meets his Davis Cup colleague Daniel Altmaier. After initial problems, the 24-year-old from Kempen clearly won 6: 7 (5: 7), 6: 3, 6: 1, 6: 2 against the Frenchman Constant Lestienne. For him it is the first second round entry at this tournament. He hopes Altmaier wins, said Zverev after his own game. "But of course - then I hope that in the second round it will be over for him."
"A strong performance, I especially liked the way he played," said tennis icon Boris Becker as an expert on Sportdeutschland.TV. "It's up to him if he keeps playing like this - I like him a lot today - if he keeps that up then he can beat anyone in the world." Previously, Tamara Korpatsch was the first German tennis professional to reach the second round at this US Open. Tatjana Maria, Anna-Lena Friedsam and Laura Siegemund were eliminated from the women's category.
Zverev continued to demonstrate his good form. At the dress rehearsal in Cincinnati he had defeated the former US Open champion Daniil Medvedev from Russia and kept up well in the semifinals against the Serbian top favorite Novak Djokovic. After Zverev had to sit out the US Open last year due to his serious ankle injury, it should now go as far as 2020, when he narrowly missed the big triumph in his only Grand Slam final so far.
Zverev against Vukic largely without much trouble
But he still has to improve for that. Unlike in training, Zverev no longer wore tape on his left wrist. After lying wrong in his sleep, the man from Hamburg reported slight pain before the tournament - there was no sign of it at the beginning of the game. The first serve was not safe at first, but Zverev still had his opponent largely under control.
When the score was 2:2, the world number 12 worked out the first breakballs. He used the second and cheered with his fist in the direction of his attachment with father Alexander senior and girlfriend Sophia Thomalla in the stands.
Zverev was the more active player, stabilized further and took the world number 50. directly from the service in the third game of the second round. Zverev also survived the few difficult moments with ease: the former second in the world rankings fended off his opponent's breakball with a strong serve when the score was 3: 2.
After the second set he had something brought out of his box to snack on. With renewed energy, we continued in a concentrated manner. Zverev managed to break again in the initial phase - and looked like the sure winner. To make it 4:4, he still gave up his serve, but hit it back directly and was able to celebrate a little later.
Korpatsch for the first time in New York in round two
For Zverev it was the seventh win in Flushing Meadows in a row, while Korpatsch is in the second round of the US Open for the first time. The 28-year-old prevailed 6: 3, 6: 2 against Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. Maria, on the other hand, dropped out straight away. The 36-year-old had no chance in the 2: 6, 1: 6 against Croatian Petra Martic in 66 minutes. Just as clearly, Friedsam lost 3:6, 1:6 against the Ukrainian Jelina Switolina.
In the first set, Korpatsch was already 5-0 ahead, allowed himself a small phase of weakness, but kept his nerve. The second round was a largely clear affair for the world number 75. "It was not clear to me before that it was so clear," said Korpatsch, who had reached the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time this year in Wimbledon.
Previously in New York, Siegemund was the first of five German players in the main draw to narrowly miss a surprise against American co-favorite Coco Gauff.