Alexander Zverev was at his ruthless best on Wednesday at the Australian Open, rolling past Australian John Millman 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the third round in Melbourne. The German lived up to the pre-tournament predictions as one of the favourites to win the season’s first Grand Slam by producing a dominant display during the one-hour, 59-minute victory. Zverev, who is the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, was almost unplayable on serve throughout the match, firing 14 aces and winning 85 per cent (47/55) of points behind his first delivery. Despite Millman being backed by a vocal crowd on Rod Laver Arena, Zverev was too good for him on the day.
“Sport needs atmosphere and the people,” Zverev said when asked about the crowd on Rod Laver Arena. “It doesn’t matter if you are for me or against me, I enjoy the atmosphere and I enjoy being on court in front of all of you guys. I think spectators bring the emotions, and sport without spectators is like sport without emotions, so I think it is incredible to play in front of everybody.”
Alexander Zverev, who has yet to drop a set in Melbourne, started to find his rhythm as the match went on and made only seven unforced errors in the third set compared to 15 in the opener. The 24-year-old now leads Millman 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. Next up for Zverev is a clash against Radu Albot after the World No.124 defeated Australian wild card Aleksandar Vukic 6-4, 7-6, 6-4.
It was in 2020, the German produced his best result at the first major of the year when he reached the last four stages. “My tactic today was to hit the ball as hard as possible,” Zverev added. “Hopefully I can hit it even harder in the next match and then the next match and then even harder against Rafa!”
Elsewhere, World No.1 Ashleigh Barty demolished Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday to enter the third round of the Australian Open. The 25-year-old Australian looks in great form as she dropped just one game in her opening round win against Top 30 player Lesia Tsurenko and she lost two to reach the third round. Barty defeated Bronzetti in just 52 minutes while she cruised past Tsurenko in 54 minutes. She hit 21 winners and eight aces en route to her victory in front of her home fans at the Rod Laver Arena.