Opening victory at the French Open: Zverev easily pretties a lousy German start

There is not much for the German tennis professionals on the first day of the French Open: Three are eliminated, only top player Alexander Zverev moves into the second round of the Grand Slam tournament.

Opening victory at the French Open: Zverev easily pretties a lousy German start

There is not much for the German tennis professionals on the first day of the French Open: Three are eliminated, only top player Alexander Zverev moves into the second round of the Grand Slam tournament. The favorite Olympic champion completes his initial task confidently and without strenuous effort.

Alexander Zverev entered the second round at the French Open in gentle gear. The Olympic champion clearly won his opening match against Austrian Sebastian Ofner 6:2, 6:4, 6:4 and was never challenged. After 1:49 hours, Zverev converted his fourth match point. "I usually start a Grand Slam tournament with a match over five sets and several hours," said Zverev after the slight gallop. "But Sergi told me I should do things differently today, and for once I listened to him," said the German number one, referring to his new Spanish coach Sergi Bruguera.

On the other hand, the end came for a German trio. Jule Niemeier had to admit defeat on her Grand Slam debut 7: 5, 4: 6, 2: 6 despite a long and convincing performance by the American Sloane Stephens. Tatjana Maria clearly lost against the number 26 seeded Sorana Cristea from Romania 3: 6, 3: 6, Daniel Altmaier lost to the Spaniard Jaume Munar 1: 6, 3: 6, 6: 4, 3: 6. Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic have the chance to advance to the second round on Monday.

Zverev had everything under control on the Suzanne Lenglen court from the start. The 25-year-old played with concentration, but was never seriously challenged by the qualifier Ofner. After 31 minutes, Zverev got the first set, after just over an hour it was already 2-0 sets for the favorite. Zverev presented himself relaxed before the French Open. At the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, the German number one failed in the round of 16 after putting too much pressure on herself in the hunt for his first Grand Slam title.

In Paris, his name hardly ever comes up when it comes to the favorites for the title. A circumstance that Zverev wants to use for himself. The start has been made. The 25-year-old now faces the winner of the game between Argentina's Sebastian Baez and Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.

After her surprising triumph at the tournament in Strasbourg, Kerber traveled to Paris with a lot of self-confidence. "It was the best preparation I could have wished for," said the three-time Grand Slam tournament winner. "I don't think I've ever played a tournament before the French Open. Now I'm going to Paris with a really good feeling." But she doesn't count herself among the favorites. "I think from round to round. I don't have any great expectations," said Kerber, only to then follow up with a mini declaration of war. "I want to play the same way in Paris as I do here."

Kerber's potential successor Niemeier has shown for a long time that she can be expected in the future. For two sentences, the Dortmund native caused great difficulties for the former Paris finalist Stephens. Then she got problems with her thighs and was clearly restricted in her movements.

"Of course it's annoying when you can't play your best tennis in the end. But I can still take a lot of positive things with me. I've seen that I can keep up with players like that," said Niemeier after the duel with the US Open Champion of 2017, her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. "My goal is now to be permanently in the main fields of the Grand Slams and to survive a few rounds there," said Niemeier.


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