French Open round-up: Thiem ready for 'very tough' quarter-final against Zverev

  • French Open round-up: Thiem ready for 'very tough' quarter-final against Zverev

French Open round-up: Thiem ready for 'very tough' quarter-final against Zverev

Zhang Shuai bowed out from mixed doubles in the second round with Australian John Peers following a 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 loss to Nicole Melichar and Alexander Peya. "I had no problems to go the distance in long rallies and I won in the three sets against a player who is in form, especially for this surface".

Thiem, who has played three straight four-setters, beat No. 19 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier. Thiem had clearly caught on and started to utilise the drop-shot and although Zverev was still showing plenty of pace and desire around the court, he was in some discomfort. He played well in the first two sets before losing the third.

When the match ended on court Suzanne-Lenglen, Zverev sunk to his knees with arms outstretched.

The rise of the young German in the last 18 months has been impressive indeed following his first title in St Petersburg: five titles last year-including a two Masters-and two titles from four finals-including three Masters finals-so far this year. So everything is going easy for him.

"Today I was very tough mentally", Putintseva said after the match.

"Maybe I'm even a little bit more aggressive, and that's a good combination". "This is the quarterfinals".

Zverev certainly has lived a charmed life in Paris this week.

Thiem defeated Zverev in their first match which came in the Munich semifinals, with the Austrian's 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory making him the last man to defeat Zverev in Bavaria.

Meanwhile, resurgent former champion Novak Djokovic moved into the quarterfinals for the 12th time as he subdued feisty Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

"It's something very special to serve for the French Open quarters", the Austrian player said after clinching his game-winning point.

"He's playing this year an awesome year, match after match, so I don't think and I don't expect him (to be) exhausted".

"I will make sure to be ready in two days' time".

Thiem has been much more spectacular contemplating the opponents he encountered. He was also taken to five sets by Dusan Lajovic in the second round and saved match point against Damir Dzumhur in the third, but getting through is all that matters to him.

Thiem, seeded seventh, needed only 15 minutes to go 4-0 up in the third with Zverev barely running for wide balls. Thiem called their upcoming quarterfinal "the matchup most fans in Germany and Austria were hoping for when they saw the draw".

Thiem was knocked out by Djokovic in the last four in 2016 before losing to Rafael Nadal at the same stage previous year. He serve-and-volleyed on break point at 1-5, too, but in the end, he could not hold off the inevitable, and a final backhand punch from Thiem earned set and match, 6-1. "I'm not that young anymore. That's his part. He's only 21".

Marco Cecchinato beat former champion and 12-time major victor Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6 to become the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 40 years. Both have provided Nadal with challenges during this clay court season, although only Thiem has beaten him.