Alexander Zverev def Darian King 76(9) 75 64
Sascha Zverev is the hottest player on the ATP World Tour. He’s won five titles this year alone, including Masters-1000 Finals victories over Novak Djokovic in Rome and Roger Federer in Montreal. At just 20-years-old, he is now the World #6 and one of the favorites to reach the US Open Final, with both Federer and Nadal in the opposite half of the draw.
Monday night, thanks to the Sharapova / Halep marathon, he and opponent Darian King didn’t take the court until 11:13pm. Rhythm was elusive for the German, and he struggled early against the backboard from Barbados. King earned the first break, then consolidated to go up 3-1. Sascha scrapped back, winning four games in a row, but couldn’t serve out the set. The tie-break was inevitable. Finally at 12:35am, after an hour and 21-minutes of play, the World #6 was up a set, winning the breaker 11-9.
Darian held-on, remained focused and held serve through most of set-2. He showed remarkable poise for someone making his Grand Slam main draw debut. But just before 1:30am, Sascha found a chink in King’s armor, picked up another break and served out the set. Racing through the third, Zverev broke early and held-on to reach Round-2 for only the second time in his young career. Just last month, he enjoyed his career-best run at a Major by reaching the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. Can he go even deeper without Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka in Flushing? Or better still, with Federer and Nadal in the other half of the draw?