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Zverev batters Berankis, Goffin back from the brink in Paris

28 mei 2018 00:21

Alexander Zverev laid down a marker with a first-round demolition of Ricardas Berankis at the French Open on Sunday and David Goffin fought back from two sets down to beat Robin Haase.

Zverev came agonisingly close to defeating Rafael Nadal for the first time in a classic final in Rome last week and the second seed started his quest to win a maiden major title with a 6-1 6-1 6-2 hammering of an outclassed Berankis.

The 21-year-old German hit 29 winners and broke seven times in a one-sided affair on Suzanne-Lenglen Court, taking just 69 minutes to sail into round two.

Goffin was forced to retire at Roland Garros last year after suffering a heavy fall and looked set to endure further pain before pulling himself off the ropes to beat Haase 4-6 4-6 6-4 6-1 6-0.

Grigor Dimitrov needed just the three sets to see off lucky loser Mohamed Safwat – a late replacement for the injured Viktor Troicki – 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-1).

There were no shocks on the opening day of the main draw in the men's singles, Kei Nishikori and Lucas Pouille among the other seeds to go through.

 

ZVEREV IN CRUISE CONTROL

Zverev was able to preserve his energy as he took Berankis apart in quick time to set up a meeting with Jiri Vesely or Dusan Lajovic.

Berankis won just 38 points and did not earn a single break point as he was totally outplayed by the towering German.

Zverev feels he is in good shape as he attempts to live up to the hype in Paris.

"I have won two tournaments, made the finals in Rome; again, losing to Rafa in a close match. I feel good, and today was a good start to the tournament, and I'm happy the way it's going so far." said Zverev.

 

GOFFIN BACK FROM THE BRINK

Goffin came back from the brink after Haase had him in deep trouble on Court 1.

The eighth seed from Belgium had a first-serve percentage of only 41 in the opening set and was broken five times in a two hour, 52-minute encounter which went the distance.

Goffin said: "I wasn't efficient at all [in the first two sets]. I was not catching the ball early, being sufficiently accurate or precise.

"I couldn't defend. I wasn't creative. He's quite cunning. So when you end up 5-4, deuce, and 30- All, it's not easy. It was important for me to be able to overturn the situation."

 

SAFWAT IN AT THE 11TH HOUR, EXUBERANCE OF YOUTH ACCOUNT FOR KARLOVIC

Safwat only found out he would step in to take on Dimitrov an hour before stepping out on Philippe-Chatrier Court.

A back injury forced Troicki to pull out, so the 182-ranked Safwat became the first Egyptian man for 22 years to compete at a grand slam.

Dimitrov snapped a three-match losing streak, the fourth seed hitting 31 winners and winning 88 per cent of points on his first serve.

The youngest player in the men's singles saw off the oldest, with 19-year-old Corentin Moutet getting the better of Ivo Karlovic – 20 years his senior – 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

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