Read & Watch: Zverev, With London In Mind, Rolls In Beijing Opener
Alexander Zverev strengthened his chances of booking a second consecutive appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday at the China Open. The second seed improved to 6-2 in Beijing with a 6-4, 6-4 first-round win against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.
Watch Highlights: Zverev Advances To Beijing Second Round
Zverev, playing his first match since losing in the third round of the US Open (Kohlschreiber), stumbled after breaking early but recovered and served out the first set to love. The second set followed a similar script, as Zverev looked in control but was broken while serving for the match at 5-2. He clinched the first-round match, however, on his third match point after 90 minutes.
Zverev will next face Tunisia's Malek Jaziri. The 21-year-old German is currently in fifth place in the ATP Race to London. The top eight will qualify for the prestigious season finale, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London.
Italy's Fabio Fognini, who has an outside chance of making his debut at the season-ending tournament, advanced 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Moldova's Radu Albot. Fognini is in 11th place in the Race, 1,405 points behind eighth-placed Kevin Anderson. Fognini will next face #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev, who sped past Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-0, 6-4.
Watch: Fognini Fights Through First-Rounder In Beijing