Alexander ZVEREV clay campaign commences with commanding win in Monte-Carlo against Sebastian OFNER

Alexander Zverev (No. 5) started successfully at the Monte-Carlo Masters after easily overcoming Sebastian Ofner (No. 44) by 6-3, 6-4. The German had a good start to the clay swing against a surface specialist like the Austrian. Sascha exited the Sunshine Double in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells and semifinals of the Miami Open, which was enough to ensure his return to the top 5 after two years.
The former US Open finalist achieved his 14th victory in Monte-Carlo in his eighth participation in the tournament, where his best results were the semifinals in 2018 and 2022. Zverev also secured his 19th win in his first 25 matches of the 2024 season. His previous best from his first 25 matches of the season was 18 wins, which he achieved in 2018, 2021, and 2022.
In the first set, Zverev’s serve was untouchable for his opponent, as he won 83% of the points with his first serve and 100% with the second (Ofner only won two points from the return). The Austrian also struggled with his serve, hitting only 54% of first serves in, winning 57% of them, and 50% with the second.
The first break opportunity for Zverev came in the fourth game, which he quickly capitalized on. In Ofner’s next service game, he had to save four break points (three of them consecutively) to stay alive in the set, but Zverev eventually closed out the set 6-3.
Zverev’s commanding performance continued in the second set, with two consecutive breaks that put him ahead 5-2 and had the chance to serve out the match. Although the German had only conceded one point in each service game, when he had to close out the match (5-2), he had an inconsistent service game, and Ofner recovered one of the breaks.
However, Ofner’s break ended up being inconsequential for Zverev, who managed to finish the set in his next service game, securing a good victory of 6-3, 6-4 despite faltering in the latter part of the second set. In the third round, he awaits the winner of the match between the 12th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who advanced after Laslo Djere’s retirement, and the Argentine Tomas Etcheverry, who eliminated Nicolas Jarry in a South American duel.
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