Alexander Zverev dug deep to beat Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters to boost his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, where he is the defending champion.
The fifth-seeded German saved three set points in the first-set tie-break en route to a 7-6(13), 7-6(3) victory over French qualifier Chardy in one hour and 47 minutes. Zverev returns to eighth position in the 2019 ATP Race To London on 2,345 points, usurping Belgium’s David Goffin.
The 22-year-old Zverev will next play Russia’s Andrey Rublev, a 6-2, 6-0 victor over last week’s Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships runner-up, John Millman of Australia, in 65 minutes.
After an early break exchange, the first set was decided by an epic 16-minute tie-break. Zverev missed out on set points at 6/5, 8/7, 9/8, 10/9 and 12/11, while Chardy could not convert set point chances at 7/6 (Zverev ace), 11/10 (blocked forehand return into the net) and at 13/12 (return long). With Zervev serving at 14/13, Chardy ripped a deep forehand return that was deemed long by Hawk-Eye, the electronic line-calling review system.
Chardy regrouped and broke Zverev for a 3-2 advantage in the second set with a deep forehand return to the feet of Zverev, who couldn’t deal with it. But Chardy committed three unforced errors when serving for the set at 5-4 and paid the price as Zverev broke with a forehand volley winner.
A terrific, low crosscourt forehand from Zverev to win the first point of the tie-break, and a forehand winner down the line at 4/2, helped to propel the German to victory.
Zverev is now 38-20 on the season, which includes his 11th ATP Tour title at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open (d. Jarry). Chardy, who has lost 10 straight matches against Top 10 opponents since defeating then-No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov at the 2018 Miami Open presented by Itau, is now 24-25 on the year.
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Earlier in the day, seventh seed Karen Khachanov was impressive in his 6-2, 6-4 win over American Taylor Fritz over 69 minutes. The Russian, who lost just two of his first-service points (24/26), goes on to meet Italian No. 10 seed Fabio Fognini, a contender for the season finale to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November. . read full article