Zverev’s first major casualty at Italian Open

Germany’s Alexander Zverev returns the ball to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, during their ATP Masters tournament tennis match at the Foro Italico in Rome on May 14, 2019. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Alexander Zverev’s dismal clay season continued yesterday when he suffered an upset 7/5, 7/5 loss to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who was supported by a partisan home crowd that made the Grand Stand seem like a football stadium.

In other matches on courts in the Foro Italico, David Goffin, Jeremy Chardy, Taylor Fritz, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, Nick Kyrgios, Radu Albot of Moldova and Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, Croatia’s Marin Cilic advanced to the second round.

In their first round match, Stan Wawrinka won the ninth game on serve. Goffin lost the first two points of his serve and eventually conceded the game and the first set 6/4. However, the Belgian won the second set at love. Wawrinka took first game of third set to a thunderous applause by the crowd.

In the third game, Wawrinka saved two break points but lost serve and Goffin consolidated to lead 3-1. A second break of serve gave Goffin a lead and he held serve for 5-1. Although the Swiss player reduced the tally, Goffin won the eighth game for the set and he was through to the second round.

It was a battle of France on Piatrengeli Court where Jeremy Chardy took first set 6/1 while Richard Gasquet leveled by winning the second set, 6/4. Gasquet faced three break points and lost the fifth game while his opponent extended the lead to 4-2 and also won the eighth game at love for 5-3.

Serving to stay in the match, Gasquet lost two game points and Chardy took the game and set on the first advantage for the victory.

America’s Taylor Fritz won the first set 6/3 and broke Argentina’s Guido Pella’s serve in the ninth game of second set that he won 6/4.

In all, Taylor powered four aces and made no double fault. Guido achieved a high success in delivering first serves and won 64 per cent points on them while Taylor won many points on first serve with a lower delivery percentage. The American won two breaks while he faced no break threat.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia took the first set 6/3 from the 12th seed Daniil Medvedev. The Russian won the second set also by six games to three.

In the third set, Kyrgios took the first game, then broke his opponent’s serve and held to lead 3-0. Daniil held to reduce tally 3-1.

In the seventh game, Kyrgios cancelled a break threat at 30-40 with an ace and held to lead 5-2. Daniil won his serve to reduce the tally.

Serving for the match, Kyrgios delivered two consecutive aces and reached match-point after a long rally. He hammered his 15th ace to win match.

Marin Cilic of Croatia, seeded ninth, fired seven aces to defeat Italy’s Andrea Basso 6/1, 7/5. It was the first outing for Cilic after his withdrawal before the Madrid quarter-final match against Novak Djokovic on account of food poisoning.

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