Alexander Zverev of Germany beat Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands 6-4, 7-6(3) in the first round of the 2023 Canadian Open in Toronto on Tuesday, August 8. The match lasted an hour and 44 minutes, with the German emerging victorious in the end.
Zverev, who won the Hamburg European Open title a couple of weeks ago, will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in the second round on Wednesday, August 9. The Spaniard is a robust player, who outperformed JJ Wolf in his opening match. However, Zverev will start as the favorite to win against Fokina.
On that note, let us take a look at two things that stood out in the match between Zverev and Griekspoor.
#1. Zverev kept hitting passes one after another
Griekspoor often rushed to the net to put pressure on the German, but the latter kept hitting passes repeatedly to stun the Dutchman. Alexander Zverev also hit a winner with a passing shot on the set point in the first set. Griekspoor kept going forward in the second set as well, but only with mixed results.
The only break of serve in the match came in the 10th game of the first set when Zverev broke Griekspoor to draw the first blood. Once the 13th seed won the first set, it was always going to be difficult for Griekspoor to stage a comeback. The 26th-ranked player’s ordinary return of serve made it extremely difficult for him to break the German.
#2. Zverev outserved Griekspoor comfortably
It was a battle between two big servers, but Alexander Zverev comfortably outperformed the Dutchman in that respect. The World No. 16 hit 12 aces against Griekspoor’s five and also won 81% of the points on his first serve against his opponent’s 74%.
The second set saw both players holding their serve throughout and had to be decided through a tie-break. Zverev raced to a lead in the tie-break as well and then went on to win it 7-3 to continue his impressive run. It was the sixth consecutive win for the German and he looks good for a deep run in Toronto as well.
The 2020 Olympic gold medallist is going to come up against yet another big-hitter in the form of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, but Alexander Zverev’s superior court coverage and more big-match experience make him the favorite. It is a great opportunity for Zverev to make up for his lack of form during the first half of the year. It remains to be seen how well he does that in this tournament.