Alexander Zverev ends Grand Slam hoodoo against top-50 players

Alexander Zverev

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Second-seeded Alexander Zverev is into the fourth round of the French Open for the first time, saving match point to win 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 against Damir Dzumhur, who collided with a ball boy in the fourth set.

The 24-year-old Thiem leads 4-2 overall against Zverev, but lost to him last month in the Madrid Masters final.

The pressure was on Zverev and he had to save the match point on his own serve before making it 5-5. Nishikori failed to make a huge comeback as the Austrian won by a 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4 score.

The German second seed has never been beyond the fourth round of a major but he at least equalled that record as he fought back from a set and a break down - and saved match point in the fifth - to move into the last-16 at Roland Garros for the first time.

Zverev has climbed to number three in the world rankings despite never previously having gone beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam, achieved at Wimbledon previous year.

Khachanov, 22, is another player with a bright future and looks particularly unsafe on clay.

The world No 3 will be the youngest quarter-finalist in Paris since a 20-year-old Juan Martin del Potro in 2009 and Zverev was clearly delighted with his achievement.

"I'm expecting another five-set match".

"Me and my brother (Mischa) are guys that spend three, four hours a day in the gym, lifting heavy weights, on the treadmill".

Alexander Zverev jokes that it took him five sets to beat Karen Khachanov because he 'might as well stay longer for practice!'

He enjoyed the flawless start on Court Suzanne Lenglen with a break of serve, but Khachanov hit back immediately and Zverev tossed his racquet in frustration at being asked to replay the point by a line judge after staving off two set points.

The 31-year-old former world number one struggled at times on Suzanne Lenglen court, but eventually came through the four-set battle in three hours and 48 minutes.

World number 38 Khachanov accelerated away with the third set, earning a double break after Zverev missed a chance to hit back. In all three of his five-setters at Roland Garros he has trailed 2-1 in sets.

It so easily could have been eight, with Dzumhur leading by a break on two occasions in the critical fourth set and serving for the match at 6-5 up, while also crafting a match point on the Zverev serve deep into the decider.

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