German tennis star Alexander Zverev was extremely happy with the way he performed against former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori at the Madrid Masters. Zverev, ranked at No. 6 in the world, overcame Nishikori in straight sets 6-3 6-2 to reach the Madrid round-of-16.
"It was clinical,” said Zverev, who faced one break point en route to the 2018 Madrid title. “Kei is someone who has done well here, reaching the final and he has beaten me on clay before. I’m definitely happy with this performance.
I have practised my serve since Munich and the altitude helps too. It was a good match from my side, I feel comfortable here. When I get hot, let’s see what happens”.
Nishikori stood no chance against Zverev
Nishikori saved a total of four break points in the second game of the match, before he claimed the first break of the match in the fifth game..
After taking a 3-2 first-set lead, Nishikori's game fell apart as Zverev claimed back-to-back breaks to overturn the deficit and win the opener. Nishikori served out the opening game of the second set to end Zverev's run but it didn't change much as the German claimed breaks in third and seventh game to take a 5-2 lead, before serving out for the match in the eighth game.
"I was very pleased with my all-around performance today," said Zverev. "Yes, my serve was working out pretty well. I think my returns [and] my backhand was also working out pretty well. All around, it was a good match for me, because against someone like Kei, you need to win the match yourself.
He's not going to give anything to you. I felt like I did that well today." Elsewhere, No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev recovered from a set down to beat rising Spanish star Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6 6-4 6-2. Medvedev was up by a break in the first set, before dropping his serve twice and losing the opener.
However, Medvedev kept his focus as he won the following two sets to claim a win in three sets. "I am happy with the win,” said Medvedev. “The first set wasn’t easy and I thought it was going to be where I had another 25 break points and I wouldn’t win.
I finally played quite well and did well in the third set. I think Madrid is a little faster than other clay tournaments, so better for my game”.