PARIS (REUTERS) - Alexander Zverev muscled his way into the fourth round of the French Open with a no-nonsense 7-6(2) 6-3 7-6(5) victory over American Brandon Nakashima on Friday (May 27).
It was a welcome change for the German third seed, who had to save a match point in a five-set thriller in the previous round at Roland Garros.
"I raised my level a lot today, it was a different match. I prefer this. This is much better for me, I don't lose too much hair. The atmosphere was amazing," said Zverev, who will next take on Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
The 20-year-old Nakashima had never beaten a top 20 player and did not seem in a position to do so after a tight opening.
The American struggled to handle Zverev's raw power and gradually faded away despite a good effort to derail the German, who this time stayed on track throughout.
Zverev was below his best at the start but found an opening in the tiebreak to take the first set on a sun-kissed Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The German broke for 3-1 in the second set with a backhand winner and held throughout to take a two-set lead despite some decent defensive play by his opponent.
The match seemed to be in the bag for Zverev when he took Nakashima's serve to open a 3-2 lead in the third set, but the world number 75 broke straight back and forced another tiebreak.
Olympic champion Zverev, a semi-finalist here last year, fell 4-2 behind but found the best angles to turn it around and secure a straightforward victory in the end.