Zverev/Paes Delight Fans In Cincinnati
They were the odd couple of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati: a 20-year-old singles star, Alexander Zverev, who's already won five titles this year, and a 44-year-old doubles legend, Leander Paes, who's captured 54 doubles titles.
The enticing partnership, which played on a packed Court 11, fell short on Tuesday, but they treated fans to a memorable match during their doubles debut. Paes/Zverev fell to Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 2-6, 7-6(2), 10-6.
“I know him quite well. He's a good guy. Unfortunately we lost today but it was fun playing with him,” Zverev said of Paes.
The right-hander said doubles can improve his singles game. “The serve and return helps. You get used to the conditions a little bit more, the match conditions. That's very good. Obviously the volleys improve,” Zverev said.
But Zverev, who's now No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, said he doesn't plan on playing doubles too often in the near future.
Meanwhile, Sascha’s older brother, Mischa Zverev, paired with Diego Schwartzman to score a first-round win over Nikola Mektic and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, 7-6(2), 3-6, 15-13. The German/Argentine duo saved 10 of the 13 break points they faced to set a second-round clash with second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
Reigning Roland Garros champions Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus advanced to the quarter-finals with a 4-6, 7-6(2), 12-10 win over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. They next face either top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers or Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer.