World No 3 Alexander Zverev reached the French Open quarterfinals after beating Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles, here on Sunday.
Zverev clinched a marathon opening set in a dramatic tie-break and was forced to recover from a breakdown in the second before going on to seal a 7-6(11), 7-5, 6-3 triumph over the No 131-ranked Miralles.
Miralles was making his first appearance in a Grand Slam quarterfinal and despite a nervy start, the Spaniard looked at home on the big stage. He capitalised on any drop in level from Zverev to ensure the German was never comfortable but the World No 3’s greater firepower was ultimately enough to take him to a two-hour, 45-minute win.
Despite lacking consistency throughout, it was Zverev’s ability to hit through the ball off both wings that proved the difference on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
He struck 34 winners to just 13 from Zapata Miralles, but Zverev will hope to reduce on his unforced error count of 63 for his quarter-final match-up with Carlos Alcaraz or Karen Khachanov.
A semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2021, Zverev now has a 16-4 record on clay in 2021 but is yet to pick up a title this year. The five-time ATP Masters 1000 champion is hunting a maiden Grand Slam in Paris, where he has now reached the quarter-finals four times.