Zverev Stages Comeback To Pass Difficult Test From Goffin in Rome

Zverev Stages Comeback To Pass Difficult Test From Goffin in Rome

by Sebastian Dahlman

It wasn't an easy first match at the 2023 Italian Open for Alexander Zverev as he had to fight past David Goffin.

Although the Belgian is currently ranked 107th on the ATP Tour, the qualities of the former world no. 7 are undeniable and this year he already showed some of his past self. Moreover, he won the last two matches that he played against Zverev, hoping to extend the streak in Rome.

On the other hand, the German is trying to find his top form again, but came just short last week in Madrid, losing to an incredible Carlos Alcaraz in the fourth round. Ahead of the 2023 Italian Open, where he's defending last year's semifinals, Zverev faced a possible threat of dropping out of the Top 100 later this year.

But the former world no. 2 wanted to avoid that and it was obvious. In the first set of the match, both players struggled on their serve, resulting in five breaks of serve in the first six games. And even though Zverev was the player who was leading, he couldn't capitalize on his advantage.

The 2020 US Open finalist had two set points in the ninth game, but as Goffin won 16 of the following 17 rallies, Zverev just found no answers to the Belgian's questions, losing the first set 5-7.

But that gave Zverev a great chance to stage a comeback in the Italian capital as he faced a 0-2 deficit also in the second set. He broke back and as he was losing 2-3 in the second set, the German won the following four games, taking the second set 6-3 and forcing the match into a decider.

This time, both players were rock-solid on their serves. But that was only until the tenth game. Zverev felt a chance on Goffin's serve as he used his only break point in that game, which was also a match point, winning the match 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the 2023 Italian Open.

Up next, the German will clash with J.J. Wolf from the United States, who stunned the 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz in the previous round of the ATP 1000 competition in Rome.


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