Zverev Breaks Through In Rotterdam
Youngster overcomes Gilles Simon in gutsy win
Sascha Zverev was a point away from being two breaks down in the deciding set against one of the steadiest baseliners on the ATP World Tour, but the German teen did not give up. The wild card fought through cramps, worked his way back into the match and downed third seed Gilles Simon 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(4) in just under three hours in Rotterdam on Thursday.
“The crowd helped me so much,” Zverev said. “I really had to give it all I’ve got. When I was cramping, my box was worried, but I fought hard and stayed in there. Gilles can run all day long so it was tough for me physically.”
The 18 year old, the youngest player in the draw, is into his second quarter-final is as many weeks. In Montpellier, he upset Marin Cilic in the second round en route to the semi-finals. The win against Simon improved his record against Top 20 players to 4-6.
Zverev’s quarter-final opponent will be fifth seed Gael Monfils, who eliminated 19-year-old Borna Coric on Wednesday. Zverev is currently No. 70 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and can overtake Coric, the youngest player in the Top 50 (No. 38), with a title in Rotterdam.
“We’ll see how I feel because right now I’m quite exhausted, but I am very happy to be in the quarter-finals.”