Alexander Zverev Comes Back After a Set Down to Defeat Kei Nishikori, to Face Rafael Nadal Next

Published 05/13/2021, 2:18 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 9, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning the Madrid Open REUTERS/Sergio Perez


The Italian Open 2021 has already witnessed quite some upsets already without reaching its quarter-finals stage. In one of the recent clashes, World No.6 Alexander Zverev made an incredible comeback and defeated Kei Nishikori in the round of 16 of the tournament. The final scoreline of the match was 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

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Set-1: Kei Nishikori stuns Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev began the set on a high after winning the first game. Interestingly, he broke in the next game to take his lead to 2-0 at the end of the second game. However, Kei Nishikori broke back and then went on to win the next game to equalize the scoreline at 2-2.

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After the scoreline reached 3-3, Nishikori broke yet again to take the lead for the first time in the set. He won the subsequent game as well to take his lead to 5-3. Even though Zverev tried hard and brought the scoreline to 5-4 after the ninth game, it was perhaps too late for the World No.6 player.

As a result, serving for the set, Nishikori didn’t commit any mistakes and won the game easily. With this, he also won the set 6-4 on his first set-point.

Set-2: Alexander Zverev makes a superb comeback

Zverev again began the set in style after winning the first game quite comfortably. However, Nishikori was in some great form and managed to equalize the scoreline shortly at 1-1. Surprisingly, he broke yet again and took his lead to 3-1 at the end of the fourth game.

Zverev was in some real trouble. However, he gained some of his momentum back and reduced the lead to 3-2. The German was not ready to give it up quickly as he broke back to equalize the scoreline at 3-3 in the following game.

He broke yet again in the 8th game and won four back-to-back games to seal the set. As a result, he leveled the set scoreline at 1-1 at the end of the second set after winning it on its fifth set-point.

Set-3: The decider

Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts during his Men’s Singles third round match Alex de Minaur of Australia on day five of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The first game of the third set was really nail-biting. Zverev gained 3 break-points but failed to capitalize on any of them. Thus, it was Nishikori who established a 1-0 lead over the German this time. He carried his great form and broke to take his lead to 2-0. Interestingly, he widened the margin to 3-0 by delivering some really powerful serves at the end of the third game.

Zverev tried to fight hard again and managed to reduce the margin to 3-1 in the next game. He even earned 3 break-points in the subsequent game but couldn’t get past the block of Nishikori. The Japanese player saved all of them and was now leading 4-1.

Zverev served really well in the next game and narrowed down the margin to 4-2. He again showed his fighting spirit and broke in the next game to bring the scoreline to 4-3. The German surely regained his form and won the next game as well to equalize the scoreline at 4-4. The World No.5 player broke again and was just one game away from reaching the quarters of the Italian Open 2021.

He didn’t take much time after this- conquered the set 6-5, and thus, won the match. The German will next face Rafael Nadal in the quarters- whom he recently defeated in straight sets at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021.

 

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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