French Open: Alexander Zverev cruises to first-round victory | More sports | DW | 27.05.2018
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French Open: Alexander Zverev cruises to first-round victory

Germany's rising young star of men's tennis, Alexander Zverev, has had little trouble advancing past the first round of the French Open. However, last year's surprise winner on the women's side is already out.

Alexander Zverev needed just 69 minutes to cruise past Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in the first round at Roland Garros on Sunday.

The world No. 3 didn't face a single break point in the match, and broke his 92nd-ranked opponent's serve seven times.

"It's always good to win in straight sets in the first round, that gives me confidence for the upcoming rounds" Zverev said in the on-court interview.

The 21-year-old German, who has never reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal, arrived in Paris in excellent form, having won titles in Munich and Madid before an Italian Open final defeat to Rafael Nadal.

"I have won two tournaments, made the finals in Rome; again, losing to Rafa in a close match. I feel good, and today was a good start to the tournament, and I'm happy the way it's going so far," he said.

Zverev, who is hoping to make an impact at Roland Garros a year after losing to Fernando Verdasco in the first round, now moves on to face either Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic or Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.

Dimitrov eases past surprise opponent

Elsewhere, No. 4 seed Gigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also advanced to the second round, even if it wasn't against the opponent he had expected. He had been drawn to play against Victor Troicki, but the Serbian withdrew due to back problems just minutes before the match was scheduled to begin. This allowed the world No. 182 player, Mohamed Safwat of Egypt to make his Grand Slam debut. Dimitrov had little trouble in a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) victory.

On the women's side Jelena Ostapenko, who stunned the tennis world by winning last year's French Open, bowed out in the first round to Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-5, 6-3.

This made Ostapenko only the second reigning women's champion to exit in the first round at Roland Garros a year later. The first was 2005 winner Anastasia Myskina.

pfd/ (AP, dpa, SID)

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