Zverev's Milestone Win Puts Him On Cusp Of London Berth
Alexander Zverev earned his 50th tour-level match victory of the season with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini in 73 minutes on Thursday, advancing to the quarter-finals of the China Open. Victory in Friday's quarter-finals against Russian Andrey Rublev will see Zverev qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time.
“I thought in the beginning we both played pretty well, from the baseline especially. I think [it was] a pretty high level,” Zverev said. “I’m happy to get through.”
The German, who broke the Italian four times, continued his pursuit of a tour-leading sixth ATP World Tour title in 2017. He is currently tied with fellow Beijing quarter-finalist Rafael Nadal and 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer with five titles each.
Zverev’s 25th hard-court victory of 2017 was also his second win over Fognini this year, after beating the 30 year old on clay in Rome. The 20 year old is inching closer to securing his first appearance in the Nitto ATP Finals, currently sitting in third in the Emirates ATP Race To London.
Next, Zverev will face US Open quarter-finalist and fellow #NextGenATP star Rublev, who upset World No. 20 Tomas Berdych earlier Thursday. Their only previous tour-level meeting was in Monte Carlo last year, where Zverev won in straight sets.
“It’s obviously going to be an entertaining Next Gen match,” said Zverev, who competed both with and against Rublev many times in the juniors. “It’s obviously great to see young guys coming through, but tomorrow’s a match against him and I’m ready for it.”