Germany’s top player Alexander Zverev has successfully started the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Nice, France. The world ranking seventh prevailed against the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in sudden death.
The first player to score two points in a row wins. Previously, both players had won two quarters each, Zverev the first two after ten minutes each with 11:10 and 15:14. Then Auger-Aliassime equalized with 14:12 and 14:11.
Zverev now faces the winner of the French duel between Richard Gasquet and Corentin Moutet in the semi-finals of the event, which also allows spectators. “I would rather play against Moutet, that would be the first match against him,” said the Hamburger, who is the driving force behind the event.
Firm agreement with Ferrer
His new coach David Ferrer will also be on site from Sunday.
With Ferrer, Zverev has ended the test phase and is now going to have a firm connection with the Spanish coach until the end of the year. “The test phase is over. We are together, a couple. We understand each other incredibly. We are now a team,” said the world number seven on Saturday evening after his opening win.
At the beginning of July, Zverev announced that it would try to work with the former world-class player Ferrer after noisily separating from his ex-coach Ivan Lendl the year before.
After that, he was mainly trained again by his father. “David and my father are both my main coaches now, my dad isn’t getting any younger either. Both are extremely important in the team,” said Zverev in Nice.
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First tournament after Adria tour
For Alexander Zverev, the tournament on the Cote d’Azur is the first appearance after the controversial Adriatic tour, in which he made the headlines with a party video.
On the Adriatic tour, several players were infected with the corona virus, including the organizer Novak Djokovic and the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who will play in Nice.
Zverev had wanted to isolate himself after the Adriatic tour. Then another party video from Monaco appeared, showing how Zverev celebrated wildly despite the self-imposed isolation. This caused plenty of resentment in the scene.