Alexander Zverev won his first ATP Finals 2020 match as he beat debutant Diego Schwartzman in three sets. The 2018 champ won the group stage match comfortably after a disappointing first match against Daniil Medvedev. In the end, it looked like the German was imploding but he just held his nerve and delivered when it mattered the most. The scorecard read – 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Zverev started slow and flat. The German got the chance to break first at 1-0 but instead was broken by Schwartzman the next game. Zverev’s forehand was hit and miss and Schwartzman’s service woes started early on. Both broke each other to level the opening set 2-2.
Sasha Zverev hit a few clean forehand strokes which troubled Schwartzman. The Argentine executed his defensive side well but found it hard to deal with Zverev’s forehand.
And trailing at 4-2, Schwartzman was already frustrated as he had accumulated 12 unforced errors. Nothing was working for the Argentine. For Zverev he was in full flow with minimized mistakes and decent serves. He was later rewarded with the first set, 6-3.
Schwartzman started off well in the second set. Taking charge of rallies and frustrating Zverev. Schwartzman was able to match Zverev’s pace in the second set. Zverev was getting frustrated with Schwartzman’s ability to stretch the rallies and carve out points. The Argentine’s defensive game was at its peak in the second set.
Diego hit a couple of brilliant passing shots in the second game of the set. Zverev had to a marathon game to seal his service game, 1-1. But Zverev’s aggression and intent matched his talent in the next game as he broke Schwartzman with some great forehand strokes.
But inconsistency from Zverev was hurting his case. After being broken, Schwartzman turned his game and brought in aggressiveness. He put Zverev in a tight spot and from there Zverev imploded. From leading 3-1, he was down 4-3.
Multiple unforced errors and flat gameplay gave Schwartzman the edge. The Argentine made a great comeback to take the set 6-4.
Diego seemed favorite now as Zverev descended into despair. Zverev had no answers to Schwartzman’s positive play. The Argentine’s movement was setting him apart. But Zverev who is capable of producing magic on court played a top-class game that helped him break Schwartzman and lead 3-2.
Schwartzman still continued to fight but it looked like Zverev got hold of his nerves. Zverev was hitting aces and winners. The German showed less frustration and went about doing his work well. The match was one-sided once Schwartzman was broken. At 5-3 against Schwartzman’s serve, Zverev got his first match point. which he converted to win the match- 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Zverev next plays Novak Djokovic and by then that match-up could well decide who wins the ‘Group Tokyo 1970’.