The Roland Garros has started in full swing and we even had the biggest upset when Dominic Thiem got knocked out in the first round of the clay court Grand Slam. The Austrian lost to local star Pablo Andujar 6-4,7-5,3-6,4-6,4-6.
Alexander Zverev also had to break a lot of sweat to beat compatriot Oscar Otte but the youngster somehow grabbed the win in five sets. Zverev won 3-6,3-6,6-2,6-2,6-0 and then at the post-game interview session he claimed that Thiem’s loss may have impacted his slow start to the Roland Garros.
“To be very honest, I think it did have a little impact on me at the beginning of the match, because yes, you try to focus on yourself, you try to not pay too much attention,” Alexander Zverev said.
“But you do know the draw, you know who is where. You know that Dominic Thiem is one of the best clay-court players, especially here, one of the toughest opponents you can have, and then he’s out.”
While there was a clear impact, the German held his nerves and increased his quality to avoid matching the fate of his close friend. The duo were also projected quarter final opponents and hence the German had an eye. However, Zverev admits that he was relieved to have progressed despite not playing at his best against Otte.
“You need the matches, you still need to get into the tournament. [Oscar] already had three matches, I think that’s a big difference,” he said.
“All in all, I’m happy to be through,” Zverev said. “At the end of the day, that’s all that matters for me right now.”
The 24-year-old German star will now face Russian tennis player Roman Safiullin in the second round of the Roland Garros. Zverev will hope that he comes up with a much improved performance in the second round.
Safiullin is someone who has progressed through to the qualifiers and has been playing at a decent level. The 23-year-old Russian defeated local player Carlos Taberner in the first round. He won 7-6, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 and will be looking to carry the similar intensity against Zverev in the second round clash at Roland Garros.