Australian Open: Alexander Zverev breezes past Radu Albot in third round

The pair's only previous meeting was a five-set first-round battle at the 2019 US Open, which Alexander Zverev won.

Alexander Zverev during the 2022 Australian Open. (Image: Twitter/Australian Open)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Jan 21, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Alexander Zverev defeated a determined qualifier Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round of the Australian Open. The pair’s only previous meeting was a five-set first-round battle at the 2019 US Open, which Zverev won. On John Cain Arena, a stadium he has become fond of, the German struck 16 aces and won 83% (57/69) of points behind his first serve to beat the World No. 124 in one hour and 57 minutes.

“It’s amazing, this is probably my favourite court [in Melbourne], because I’ve never lost a match here and I hope it continues this way,” Zverev said. “The support has been incredible, it’s really fun to play in front of all you guys again, and hopefully it will be another good four matches for me.”

Zverev had breezed through the first two rounds in Melbourne, defeating Daniel Altmaier and John Millman in straight sets, and he continued his hot streak by breaking Albot in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. From then on, the 32-year-old Moldovan eased into the match, but it was too late to rescue the first set, as Zverev took it 6-3 after dropping only one point behind his first serve.

Zverev’s tiny lapses in concentration were quickly corrected, with the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion saving all five break points he faced. Albot had equaled his greatest Grand Slam performance by reaching the third round with wins over Yoshihito Nishioka and Aleksandar Vukic in the first round, but he was afforded little leeway in the crucial stages, as the third seed finished with 44 winners to Albot’s 14.

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When Zverev couldn’t break from 15-40 at 3-3 in the third, he was frustrated, but he got another chance in Albot’s next service game, and he made no errors before serving out for win.

Happy to win in three sets

“He’s obviously playing well, feeling the ball well, so I’m happy to be through in three sets,” Zverev added. “Of course, I had my struggles on the court today, I didn’t feel perfect, but who is perfect? At the end of the day, I won and I’m happy about that.”

The German will play Denis Shapovalov, the 14th seed, in the fourth round. Shapovalov defeated American Reilly Opelka 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier on Friday. In their ATP Head2Head series, Zverev leads the Canadian 4-2 but is fully aware of the 22-year-threat. old’s

“He’s playing well,” said Zverev. “I think his match today was a very high level. We’re both going to be happy to be in the second week. Hopefully I can win of course, but it’s going to be a great match.”

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