Clinical Zverev eases into second round


German third seed Alexander Zverev was happy with the start to his French Open campaign on Sunday, hoping he could build on his strong clay court form after producing a clinical performance in a 6-2 6-4 6-4 win against Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner.

The 25-year-old Zverev, who reached the semi-finals last year at Roland Garros, came to Paris after reaching the final in Madrid and making semi-final runs at Monte-Carlo and Rome.

“I had a very stable clay-court season,” Zverev said on court. “Semis in Monte Carlo, final in Madrid, semis in Rome. But I didn’t win any tournaments. I’m always somebody that likes to win, rather than be stable.

“I’d rather lose first round, first round, first round and then win a tournament, so hopefully I can do that here. Hopefully I can play my best tennis here.”

On a balmy evening he dominated proceedings from the start on Court Suzanne Lenglen against his opponent, ranked 218th in the world.

Zverev did not face a single breakpoint on his own serve while breaking Ofner twice in the opening set and once in each of the next two, and he closed out the contest in an hour and 49 minutes with his 13th ace.

“Usually, I start a Grand Slam tournament with a five-set match and a few hours on court, but (coach) Sergi (Bruguera) told me today not to do that so I listened to him for once.

“I’m happy with the match, especially against Sebastian who already played three matches here. He’s playing very well, so I’m happy with the start here.”

Zverev will next face the winner of the match between Serbian Dusan Lajovic and Sebastian Baez of Argentina.